Fordham Notes: December 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Clavius Professor Wins IBM Faculty Award

Frank Hsu, Ph.D., is the Clavius
Distinguished Professor of Science.
Frank Hsu, Ph.D., the Clavius Distinguished Professor of Science, has received a prestigious IBM Faculty Award, a distinction that this year was bestowed upon just 180 individuals worldwide.

The IBM Faculty Award is an annual initiative that fosters collaboration between university professors and researchers and IBM research, development, and service organizations.

Hsu, who also directs the Fordham Laboratory for Informatics and Data Mining, received an award in the field of cyber security.

The award comes with a grant intended to promote curriculum innovation and educational computer programs, encourage the computer science industry to adopt emerging technologies, and create opportunities to attract exceptional technical and business talent.

"Fordham University has established itself as a leader in creating a cyber security ecosystem that fosters the relationship among government agencies, academia, and industry," said Marisa Viveros, IBM's vice president for cyber security innovation. "We are excited to work with Dr. Hsu in scaling such a partnership and bring innovation into academic programs."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

University Honors Long-term Employees

On Dec. 13, the Office of the President celebrated those men and women whose generous work ethic and longstanding dedication shape Fordham’s life and character every day.

Five employees received the 1841 Award Medal for Service of 20 or 40 years. Together, they represented more than 100 years of University service. They are:

Fernando Castillo, Facilities Services at Lincoln Center: Castillo began his Fordham career as a mechanic and was promoted to engineer. A native of the Philippines, Castillo works on the 2nd shift at the Lincoln Center campus, where he frequently handles heating and cooling operations for after-hour events in Pope Auditorium, the 12th-floor Lounge, and the Law School Amphitheatre.

Anita Bisecco, Custodial Services at Rose Hill: Recognized by her supervisors for exceptional work and polite disposition, Bisecco had worked in custodial services cross-campus—from Dealy Hall, to the William D. Walsh Family Library, to her present position in the Administration Building. She has earned numerous citations for her outstanding performance.

Nathan Bahny, Quinn Library Staff: Bahny has bar-coded books and periodicals, maintained hundreds of library stacks, and now helps run the library’s online Reserve system. His encyclopedic knowledge of just about everything on reserve in the Quinn collection makes him a favorite among faculty and staff, as does another essential quality for a library staffer—his patience.

From l to r, Fernando Castillo, Anita Bisecco, Linda Lo
Schiavo (accepting for Nathan Bahny), Rosemary
DeJulio, assistant to the President, Dr. Freedman,
Father McShane, Marc Valera, vice president for
facilities, and Msgr. Joseph Quinn, vice president
for mission and ministry (Photos by Chris Taggart)
Anthony “Tony” Romeo, Facilities Services at Rose Hill: A 40-year employee, Romeo ran the Rose Hill Gas Station when it was in existence. Since the station’s closure, Romeo has worn several other hats in facilities, including serving as s a shop steward for the facilities workers, acting as their advocate and ensuring everyone receives a fair shake.

Debra L. Rivera, Fordham Law School: Rivera works in the Office of Faculty Support, where she provides administrative support to tenured, tenure-track and visiting professors. Among her duties are providing teaching support, article and book editing, conference planning, and online course-ware maintenance. Rivera is also a Fordham alumna; she holds a master’s degree in political science from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

On hand to present the awards were Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, Stephen Freedman, Ph.D., University provost and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, employees’ area supervisors, and friends and family.

“It’s my pleasure to acknowledge personally the dedicated service of our loyal Fordham employees,” said Father McShane. “Their efforts and commitment make a difference in the life of the University.”

The 1841 Award was established in 1982 by former Fordham President James C. Finlay, S.J., in honor of the year the University was founded by Archbishop John Hughes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

900,000 Followers Can't Be Wrong

Photo: Alberto Pizzoli, AFP/Getty Images

Tom Beaudoin, Ph.D., Fordham's associate professor of theology in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, weighed in yesterday in a USA Today article on Pope Benedict XVI's new Twitter feed.

The new handle, which launched today  in Rome, is @pontifex, and it is expected that the Pope will tweet answers to questions about faith (#askpontifex). He has some 900,000 followers, the article states.

You can read Beaudoin's comments, and the entire article, here. And you can sign on to follow the Pope  here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Santa Brings Good Cheer, Gifts, and Gratitude

Santa made his annual appearance at Fordham on Dec. 8 when the Fordham University Association held its Children’s Christmas Party at the McGinley Center Ballroom. Members of the University's faculty, administration, and staff came with their families to participate in arts and crafts, cookie decorating, a luncheon, and a chance for all good boys and girls to get a special holiday gift from jolly old (and all around good-guy) Saint Nick.

In all, nearly 300 guests attended.

(Photos by Ken Levinson)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lucinda Williams Headlines WFUV’s Most Successful Holiday Show Ever

Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams

Artists and music lovers alike came out to support WFUV at the station’s most successful Holiday Cheer concert since the benefit’s inception eight years ago.

More than 2,400 fans packed the Beacon Theatre Dec. 5 to see alt-country legend Lucinda Williams headline a bill of artists that embody the “rock and roots” format of Fordham’s public radio station.

A rabble-rousing rocker with a haunting, unmistakable voice, Williams opened her set with some soulful ballads, including “Drunken Angel,” from her crossover Grammy-winning CD Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Folk-country songwriter Steve Earle, who co-produced the gold album, emerged to play harmonica and sing harmony on the song.

Cranking up the heat on the frigid evening, Williams delivered electrifying performances on foot-stomping tunes such as “Honeybee,” “Essence,” and encores “Joy” and “Get Right With God,” which drew Earle from the wings once again.

Williams chatted easily with the crowd in the nearly sold-out house, praising FUV for playing the music “we were sometimes told fell through the cracks.” To great applause, she added, “I don’t think it’s falling through the cracks anymore.”

A longtime FUV favorite himself, Earle played his own set that included “the only Christmas song that I have,” a tune the industry mainstay wrote for the Oak Ridge Boys in the ’80s, “Nothing But a Child.”  He was followed by folk songstress Shawn Colvin, who self-deprecatingly bemoaned her middle age but revealed a voice that rang as pure as it did in her early Greenwich Village days.  Reaching way back, she performed a tune from her 1989 debut album called “Diamond in the Rough,” also the title of her 2012 memoir.

Only in its second year at the Beacon, the Holiday Cheer show had originally been held at the much smaller, 600-seat New York Society for Ethical Culture concert hall.  But filling the legendary Upper West Side venue proved to be no problem for WFUV, which boasts nearly 350,000 listeners each week in the New York area and thousands more worldwide on the Web.

Reminding fans early in the night what FUV is all about, country blues singer Shelby Lynne took the stage with nothing but her acoustic guitar and her big voice. Her honest, stripped-down tunes followed the show-stopping opening act Lake Street Dive—a Brooklyn-based quartet whose slow, sultry cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” left show goers in awe.  It was one of the many reasons why, as FUV’s music director Rita Houston said as the house lights came up, “we won’t be forgetting tonight any time soon.”

Lake Street Dive
–Nicole LaRosa

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Beautiful Flow of Music and Word

On Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, the Fordham community launched its celebration of the holidays with the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols, held, respectively, at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle near the Lincoln Center campus, and in the University Church on the Rose Hill campus.

The celebration takes its format from the Service of Lessons and Carols, a British Christmas tradition, and features performances by the Fordham University choirs, the Bronx Arts Ensemble, and the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. in Dance Program.

Year after year, the event fills the churches to capacity.

(photos by Michael Dames)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Italy and Japan Documented in New Exhibit

Photo taken in Rome by senior Joseph Mottola.
Drawing parallels between Italy and Japan might strike some as a complicated exercise, with Japanese restraint competing against Italian effusiveness, but it's exactly what the photography show at the Center Gallery attempts to do. The show, Documentary Photography: Italy/Japan, finds unity in graphically composed prints that play off one another. 

The straightforward title springs from two programs run by the Department of Visual Art, which took photography students to Tokyo and Rome during the 2011-2012 school year. The show's November 28 reception felt more like a reunion, said senior Teresa Salinas.

"It's a little nostalgic," said Salinas. "But having so much time pass I can see everyone's work with a new perspective."

The exhibit was curated by artist-in-residence Stephan Apicella-Hitchock and associate professor Joseph Lawton. Apicella-Hitchock and Lawton also edited two books that were published from the show: R and Six New Photographers in Japan.

The exhibit continues its run through December 14.

--Tom Stoelker

Photo taken in Tokyo by senior Teresa Salinas.