Fordham Notes: December 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

FCRH Dean's New Book on U.S. Foreign Policy

Michael E. Latham, Ph.D., professor of history and dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, has been getting some advance praise for his new book, The Right Kind of Revolution: Modernization, Development, and U.S. Foreign Policy from the Cold War to the Present (2010, Cornell University Press).

“Michael E. Latham’s readable and insightful book casts recent nation-building undertakings within a century-long history of the faiths—and delusions—of America’s recurrent efforts to ‘modernize’ others. The broad scope of this book recommends it to scholars, policymakers, and citizens alike.”
Emily S. Rosenberg, University of California, Irvine, author of Spreading the American Dream: American Economic and Cultural Expansion 1890–1945

“Well-written, broad-gauged, and just plain smart, The Right Kind of Revolution ably synthesizes, indeed moves beyond, the scholarship on American efforts to ‘improve’ the Third World. The new standard work on American modernization and development policies, it is has much to teach scholars and graduate students while still being suitable for use in undergraduate courses.”
David Engerman, Brandeis University, author of Know Your Enemy: The Rise and Fall of America’s Soviet Experts

Latham is also the author of Modernization as Ideology: American Social Science and “Nation Building” in the Kennedy Era, and coeditor of Staging Growth: Modernization, Development, and the Global Cold War and Knowledge and Postmodernism in Historical Perspective.

Cornell University Press
P.O. Box 6525,
Ithaca, NY 14851-6525
Phone: (607) 277-2211 | Fax: (607) 277-6292

Friday, December 17, 2010

FORDHAMScience: One Fish, Two Fish…

Biologists spend a lot of time studying tiny details to come up with the answers to big questions. Rose Carlson, assistant professor in Fordham’s Department of Biological Sciences, is making a career of darters, fish in the perch family that inhabit the rivers and streams of North America, and most species of which are under three inches in length.

Carlson, who took her doctorate in population biology from U.C. Davis, has logged thousands of hours in the lab and in the field taking note of minute distinctions between darter species from streams in the southeastern United States.

“I’m interested particularly in the diversity of characteristics that have some kind of important function for the species,” Carlson says. “In my dissertation work I focused on characters of the [darter] jaws that we know are going to affect what the species are eating. When you see differences among species in jaw shape you can infer with pretty high confidence that it correlates as in what they’re eating. And then when you put species with different jaw shapes in a community, you can then make another inference: which is that they’re all eating different things, and that perhaps this diversity facilitates coexistence.” (See: “The ecological morphology of darter fishes,” with Peter C. Wainwright, Ph.D.)

One aspect of Carlson’s research is looking at species coexistence and community assembly: how different species can populate a given habitat—in this case some very shallow streams in upstate New York, Tennessee and northern Georgia, to name a few. Small as these streams are, it’s the bottom inch or two that most concerns Carlson: that’s where darter habitat mostly lies, in a slower boundary layer between the streambed and the faster moving water above it.

Her post-doctoral work has focused on understanding the function of differently shaped and sized fins in darter fishes. Darters mostly hold their place on the streambed, eating what is directly in front of or very near them. Occasionally they will dart forward for a morsel of food, or to avoid a predator (mostly birds and bigger fish).

“They kind of sit, for a long time and then move very quickly, explore their area, dart again, sit. That’s kind of the cycle,” Carlson says. “They eat things that are on the bottom for the most part, on the sides and sometimes on tops of rocks—a lot of aquatic invertebrate larvae.”

Right now Carlson measures the maximum stream flow speed in which darters can stay in place. The fish are set up in Plexiglas recirculating flow tanks and given time to acclimate (“They’re freaked out when you first put them in there,” she says). The flow is generated by a propeller calibrated so that the researchers know the flow speed in the tank for set numbers of revolutions per minute. The tanks are filled and the researchers move the darters into a standard position, sitting on the bottom—holding station—and then slowly turn up the flow speed, from a very low speed up to the maximum speed at which the fish can hold position.

“You can see when they start to struggle to hold position,” Carlson says. “That’s one of the types of test that we would do. At other points, when we’re interested in visualizing flow patterns, we’re just interested in having the fish sit in a particular position for a long period of time, not necessarily at its maximum flow speed, just visualizing the water movement over the fin and over the substrate.”

The researchers capture the darters on high speed video. For some of the performance studies they have two views: lateral and dorsal, to capture motion from the side and top. “It’s all contingent upon them having the same type of locomotor behavior,” Carlson says. “If we find they have the same habitat and the same fin shape, that’s strong evidence that fin shape is somehow adaptive in that type of environment.”

The next step, according to Carlson, is to get out in the field and “really make very close observations on what darters are doing,” by measuring where they are in the habitat. She wants to get a better idea of how the laboratory findings translate to nature. That will mean lying in a stream (either in a wet suit or dry suit, depending upon the water temperature), at eye-level with the tiny fish. Carlson says a flow meter that will work in such shallow water is “going to require a little bit engineering and ingenuity… But that’s one of the fun things about fieldwork.”

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lincoln Center of the Past Resurrected in Student Presentation

Long before the area between West 60th and 66th streets became home to Fordham University, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Amsterdam Houses, the beat of life was very different.

On Tuesday, December 7, members of the Fordham College Lincoln Center Honors Program’s class of 2013 described just how different things were. The Lincoln Square History Project, a presentation culled from 61 essays and 400 pictures, explored historical facts that are both well known (Condemnation of 17 blocks of tenement buildings lead to the sites’ construction) and less known (McMahon Hall was once the site of the Grace Institute, a school Sisters of Charity-run school for underprivileged girls).

The School of Law? It was once the site of the 12th Regiment Armory, built in the late 19th century for the then enormous sum $750,000.

“These two buildings serve to show the character of this space before Robert Moses’ urban renewal. Think of the demographic that we serve today. A private institution, and a well to do performing arts center, and think of the buildings that became before, and it may be said, that truly this space could not have changed more under Robert Moses’ direction,” said Max Slade.

Dan Mallia admitted that he was disturbed by the readings about protests that preceded the bulldozing of the neighborhood.

“It was a tough subject to wrap my mind around, because I naturally sympathized with the residents and the lawyer of who lead the resistance,” he said, noting that the proponents of “urban renewal” were case as villains.

“I’m in the midst of my second year at Fordham, and I have yet to find any evidence that Fordham is an evil corporation which revels in displacing poor residents. In fact, I found a lot of evidence to the contrary. A lot of the administration expressed concern that the process should not be abusive and should actually help the area. Furthermore, it is even harder for our generation to feel anger about the renewal, because today we are enjoying the benefits of it.”

The Amsterdam Houses, which were built in 1947 on the other side of Amsterdam Avenue, were constructed in place of demolished tenements, and like the Lincoln Center itself, faced a numerous obstacles. From the start, tensions were high, as residents mistakenly assumed that like Stuyvesant Town, it would exclude black residents. It also didn’t help that, under the theory that more light and air, the better a family will fare, all the homes of in the neighborhood were destroyed.

“They also demolished the storefronts they frequented, the neighborhood hangouts that they were used to hanging out in, and they also demolished everything that made the community what it was. So people began to feel isolated and disoriented,” said Annemarie Gundel.
The Center has seen its ups and downs too. Avery Fisher Hall, Darrya Rosikhina noted, was finished in 1962 after three years of construction, but had such poor acoustics, that it had to be completely gutted and rebuilt nearly from scratch in 1973.

The Juilliard School building, which was completed in 1969 and is home to Alice Tully Hall, has been called a marriage of form and function, but Jacqueline Battaglia noted that the New York City Opera and the New York Philharmonic were given venues that were of lesser quality than the New York City Center and Carnegie Hall, where they came from, respectively.

“In 1959, the owners of Carnegie Hall refused to renew the Philharmonics’ lease, because they were thinking about demolishing the building to build a more profitable office building,” she said.

Still, like Fordham and the Amsterdam Houses, the she said that Lincoln Center has become an integral part of the city’s fabric.

“Despite how and why they ended up at Lincoln Center, or how they changed the Lincoln Square neighborhood once they got here, these arts institutions are an essential part of the culture of New York City,” she said. “They all began here, some almost 200 years ago, and they continue to be some of the most important arts institutions in New York today.”
—Patrick Verel

Friday, December 10, 2010

Theology Scholars to Assess Avery Cardinal Dulles’ Legacy

Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., Fordham’s former Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society, published 750 articles and 23 books on theological topics, including Models of the Church (Doubleday, 1974), Models of Revelation (Doubleday, 1983), The Catholicity of the Church (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1985) and The Craft of Theology: From Symbol to System (Crossroads, 1992).

On Tuesday, Dec. 14, his vast catalogue of scholarship will be the focus of a panel discussion at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus.

Avery Dulles and the Future of Theology will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Pope Auditorium. The publication of Avery Cardinal Dulles: A Model Theologian (Paulist Press, 2010) by Patrick W. Carey will be the point of departure for a panel of theologians to discuss and debate the future of theology in light of Cardinal Dulles’s work.

They will look at both questions that Dulles asked and didn't ask, the answers he gave as a potential foundation for future Catholic theology, and the significance of his method and style for addressing pressing theological issues.

The discussion, which is sponsored by the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture, will be moderated by Aristotle Papanikolaou, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology and Co-Founding Director of Fordham’s Orthodox Christian Studies Program.

The panel will feature:
Terrence W. Tilley, Ph.D., Chair, Fordham Theology Department and Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., Professor of Catholic Theology;

Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate-in-Residence and Adjunct Professor of Religion at Hofstra University;

Robert P. Imbelli, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology, Boston College and a priest of the Archdiocese of New York;

Patrick W. Carey, Ph.D., Professor of Theology, Marquette University, and author, Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J.: A Model Theologian (Paulist Press, 2010);

Miroslav Volf, Ph.D., Director, Yale Center for Faith and Culture, and Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology, Yale University

The event is free and open to the public. RSVP at or (212) 636-7347

—Patrick Verel

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Look at Fordham's Festival of Lessons and Carols

The rapture of soft harmonies in candlelight; blending vocals rising from a tiered chorus; the story of the coming of Jesus; a full congregation in song. These are the rituals of Fordham’s annual holiday concert, the Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols, held Dec. 4 and Dec. 5 on two Fordham campuses.

This year’s event featured the Fordham University Choir and Liturgical Choir, under Robert A. Minotti; the Fordham University Women's Choir, under Stephen Fox; and the Bronx Arts Ensemble. Saturday's program also featured sophomores from the Fordham/Ailey B.F.A. Dance Program.

What a perfect start to the Christmas season.

—Janet Sassi

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

GBA Dean to Lead Event on Handling Rough Economy

David Gautschi, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration, will lead an upcoming discussion designed to help executives negotiate the harsh economic conditions buffeting the nation and world.

At 8 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9, Gautschi will facilitate “CFO Thinktank: Shaping the Future of Business,” at the University Club in Midtown Manhattan.

He will present data that suggests the economy in an extended period of uncertainty, and that this is reflected in confusion surrounding business schools’ curricula and emphases.

In the discussion, which will be held in partnership with the CFO Alliance, he will address:
• how CFOs should plan in an era of economic uncertainty and increasing confusion;
• how CFOs can manage through the next crisis and prepare for market changes;
• what CFOs can do to prepare the next generation of financial talent for an evolving business climate.

Tickets are $30 for non-members and basic CFO Alliance members and free to CFO Alliance all-inclusive members and first-time attendees. To register, visit

—Patrick Verel

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lecture to Dig Deep into Lincoln Center’s Rich History

The area surrounding Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus has a wealth of history that is easy to miss. But in a lecture “The Lincoln Square Project,” students from the Lincoln Center campus Honor’s Program will detail the beginnings of the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, the Amsterdam Houses, the Upper West Side and Fordham’s own eight acre campus, which was established in 1961.

The lecture is sponsored by the Fordham University Lincoln Center Honors’ Program.

When: Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m.
Where: Cafeteria Atrium, Lowenstein Center
Contact: Ines Montero, (212) 636-6300
—Patrick Verel

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fordham Professor Addresses Young Bronx Latinas

If there’s one thing Fordham College at Rose Hill senior Shantee Erasme can tell you about getting to college, it’s that it takes more than good grades.

“Although my parents had somewhat of an education, they couldn’t help me explore colleges,” said Erasme, 20, a Bronx native. “I basically had to get information on my own. I asked teachers, guidance counselors or anyone that could for help.”

Erasme serves as a volunteer with Mentoring Latinas precisely for that reason. She said she loves to offer guidance to middle and high school girls from her home city.

Run out of Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service (GSS), Mentoring Latinas links at-risk middle and high school students with successful Latina college students.

In addition to spending time with their mentors on the Rose Hill campus once or twice a week, the Bronx middle and high schoolers participate in arts and cultural activities. The program is designed to give them experiences to broaden their horizons and prepare them for a college-bound life.

On Nov. 17, mentors and mentees from the program got a dose of inspiration from a Fordham professor who was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and later, Yonkers, N.Y.

Norma Fuentes, Ph.D., assistant professor of Sociology
, told the group of 40 girls how her grandmother in the Dominican Republic raised her while her mother was working in New York City. While her grandmother didn't have a college education, she encouraged Fuentes to work hard to achieve her dreams.

“I tell my daughters to look in the mirror and not feel weird about looking different or having a name that sounds different,” Fuentes said. “I don’t think of myself as a Latina professor, per se, but I do feel privileged. And sometimes I do feel different.”

Fuentes-Mayorga discussed how she worked her way through Columbia University, where she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She lightly touched on her comparative research on the immigrant and work integration of first-generation Dominican and Mexican women in New York City, and the relationship between school and labor market integration between second-generation Dominican and Moroccan girls living in New York City and Amsterdam.

It was an opportunity to hear about how education leads to success from a person who looked just like them.

Fuentes-Mayorga told the girl to set their differences aside and focus on how being bilingual is a strength.

“You’re the cream of the crop, I can tell,” she said. “You are growing up in two cultures. You will take the best from your parents and the best of U.S. education to be the best.”

Gina Vergel

GSS Welcomes Rogler Fellowship

Faculty and friends of the Graduate School of Social Science (GSS) gathered on Dec. 1 to welcome the inaugural recipient of a fellowship funded by Lloyd H. Rogler, Ph.D., Fordham’s Albert Schweitzer Professor Emeritus in the Humanities (above, left).

The endowed fellowship was awarded to Donna Dopwell (above, right), a second-year doctoral student of social work who is specializing in the study of Hispanics. Going forward, the endowed fellowship will completely fund one GSS doctoral student per year.

Rogler, who spent more than 50 years as an author, academic and medical researcher, said he made the gift to help advance the social work profession’s cultural competence by funding doctoral students studying Hispanic life and culture.

Dopwell will be working with Claudia Moreno, Ph.D., associate professor of social work, on the effects of HIV Aids within the Latin American community, with a special emphasis on those of Puerto Rican heritage.

During his 27-year teaching career at Fordham, Rogler founded the Hispanic Research Center with funding from competitive grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He is the author of eight academic books and, most recently, a fictionalized memoir, Barrio Professors: Tales of Naturalistic Research (Left Coast Press, 2008).

“Lloyd has always been a pioneer in cultural competence,” said Peter Vaughan, dean of the GSS, “and someone who has always supported students who can carry on the research that he began.”

Janet Sassi