Fordham Notes: July 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Faking It" at the Center Gallery

A small "Renoir" study.
Why would a curator find cause to bring together Warhol, Rembrandt, de Kooning, Chagall, Matisse, and Renoir? Artistically and historically, it’s a bit of a stretch.

Nevertheless, a new show at Fordham’s Center Gallery has found a unifying theme: the paintings are all fakes.

With Fordham’s 4th International Conference on Cyber Security (ICCS) set to begin Aug. 5 at the Lincoln Center campus, Fordham's artist-in-residence Stephen Apicella-Hitchcock and fellow artist Daniel Small came up with some ideas for the gallery that related to the conference—which is jointly sponsored by the Fordham and the FBI.

ICCS has traditionally used the gallery point as a registration center to welcome conference attendees. So Small teamed up with the FBI's Forgery Division to create Caveat Emptor (let the buyer beware), an exhibition of confiscated art forgeries from the FBI's holdings, now visible upon arrival.

"It's an anonymous group show for a bunch of artists who will never come forward," Small said.

A few days before the July 26 opening, Small hung the paintings with the same care one might expect for the originals. And with good reason: some of the works have made it all the way to auction blocks of Christies and Sotheby’s.

Several of the paintings back-stories are as legendary as the copied artists, such as art dealer Ely Sakhai's attempt pass off two "Chagalls" as real. Sakhai bought an original, had it duplicated, and then used the original's authentication papers to sell the fakes. The two copies now face each other on opposite walls of the gallery.

"In a sense, it's a bit like a trophy room, or a display of evidence masquerading as a straightforward exhibition of paintings," said Apicella-Hitchcock.

While some of the direct forgeries might check out forensically, with correct pigments and aged, cracked varnish, the brush strokes often lack the flair of the real deal, said Small.
de Kooningish
The "Rembrandt" is a case in point. The forger created antiqued varnish cracks by carving into the surface with a needle, soaking the painting in black ink, washing the painting, then repeating the process several times. But the actual brush stroking falls far short of the master's. 

"Some of the paintings are quite good are and some of them are bad, just like in any art show," said Small. "The 'de Kooning' is incredible, though."

 Small noted that as the "de Kooning" approximates rather than copies an original work, which means that the forger's own artistic hand had more leeway, and thus more expression.

The purported artists on exhibit are: James E. Buttersworth, Marc Chagall, Willem de Kooning, Tsuguhara Foujita, Juan Gris, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Maurice Prendergast, Rembrandt van Rijn, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Andy Warhol, and Hale Woodruff.

The show will run through Aug. 9.

Curators hang one of two duplicate "Chagalls" in the show.
-Tom Stoelker

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fordham Supports Amsterdam Houses

Fordham will be participating in Amsterdam Addition Family Day, Saturday, July 27 starting at 10 a.m., and  for the Amsterdam Houses Family Day again on Saturday, Aug. 10. For both Family Days, the annual all-day festivals  draw residents of the Amsterdam Houses, elected officials, and other not-for-profit institutions (including John Jay College and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts) in celebration of community, family, food, music and much more. 

Volunteers from the Fordham community are needed to help set up tables, distribute food to elderly residents, hand out literature regarding education opportunities and provide activities for the kids. It is a chance to serve as role models for the young people in a community near the Lincoln Center campus.

 Please respond if you are interested in volunteering by Friday, July 25 
to Lesley A. Massiah-Arthur at (718) 817-3023. 
Volunteers will meet at the Lincoln Center Campus at 9:45 am and walk to the Amsterdam  Addition and Houses location near West 64th Street, volunteering until 4 p.m.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fordham World Youth Day Update

Fordham's contingent hoists the Vatican flag in
front of Cathedral Basilica of Salvador,
 a historic
Jesuit church in Salvador de Bahia.
Fordham's delegation of 14 students and two campus ministers checked in with us from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where they are participating in World Youth Day 2013.

Philip J. Florio, S.J., assistant vice president for Campus Ministry, sent this update from Sunday, July 13, where the group attended an open air mass presided by Father General Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., superior general of the Society of Jesus.

"The Fordham delegation could not get close enough to Father General to get a group picture after mass, but it's only day three of the trip, they have time yet and they were given the mission!"

—Patrick Verel

Monday, July 15, 2013

Eco-Savvy GBA Students Sow Awareness

Students from the 3CMGM Program are planting trees to mitigate the program's carbon footprint.
Photo by Philippe Surmont
 Twenty-six students from around the globe attend the Graduate School of Business Administration's (GBA) 3 Continent Master of Global Management (3CMGM) Program. The courses are taught on campuses in Belgium, India, and the United States. While this is all made possible by air travel, the carbon footprint of so much commuting became a source of concern for students, so they set out to plant a few thousand trees to mitigate the problem.

Planting a few thousand trees is no easy task when there's masters-level coursework to complete. But as the students are training to be global business managers, they sought out a global management solution to solve the problem.

Antwerp Management School in Belgium and the Xavier Institute of Management in Bhubaneswar, India, have already hosted the students for the yearlong program. The cohort arrived for the last leg of their journey at Fordham's Lincoln Center campus in May.

As physically planting the trees was an impossibility, the group decided to partner with, a Belgian-based NGO specializing in tree planting. They created an off-shoot called After sowing the seeds of the operation in Antwerp, they planted their first tree in India this past the spring. On August 1 the group will promote the program here in New York City. 

The students mined the program's three locales for unique regional responses to the initiative. Belgium had the NGO. The advantageous conversion of dollars to rupees meant more trees could be purchased in India, thus making India a logical place to plant the trees. The August 1 event will no doubt prove media-savvy New York as the perfect place for promoting the program. But the problem of global warming is hardly limited to three regions.

"Pollution is the same in any part of the world," said student Aditya Prasad Kola. "As we are part of a global community we are obliged to clean up our mess."
Students at tree planting ceremony at Xavier in Bhubaneswar, India.

The trees will be planted on the Sirumalai Hills in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Kola, who is from India, added that as a developing nation, India has very high pollution levels, making it "a perfect place" for the initiative.

The way the program works is that students ask companies to buy trees from WeForest to offset their own carbon foot print. For each tree that companies buy from WeForest, WePlant gets a tree of their own. The trees cost about $1.50 each.

The students calculated that they produced 130 metric tons of CO2 emissions through intercontinental air travel. To eliminate their footprint, they'll need to plant about 4,300 trees this year. After four years the trees will have matured and the footprint should be eliminated.

The students have already sold more than 750 trees, bringing the total number of trees to more than 1500 so far. The ultimate goal of planting 8,600 trees would create one full time job and three temporary jobs in India.

The students said that plotting out the success of the program fed into their coursework.

"Completely detached from the environmental aspect, is that by working on this project we're also developing our skills and knowledge when it comes to fundraising and project management," said student Ahmed El-Jafoufi.

All of the students said they expect the experience to affect the way they do business in the future.

"With governments cutting their budgets, it's a good time for the companies to step in and help," said student Phillipe Surmont, adding that it's also good business. "If I have to choose between two brands and one takes responsibility for certain issues, I'm going to choose that brand." 
-Tom Stoelker

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fordham Group Brazil-Bound for World Youth Day 2013

This week around the world, millions of Catholics are gearing up for one of the largest and most anticipated events for young people globally—and among them are 16 members of the Fordham community.

A delegation of 14 students and two campus ministers leave tomorrow for World Youth Day 2013, held this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The group will join more than two million young Catholics from around the world for a week of prayer, music, cultural events, pilgrimages, and a celebration of Mass with the pope.

In addition to being an event held only every two or three years, this World Youth Day is particularly exciting for participants, because it is the first one to be attended by the newly-elected Pope Francis.

“When the students signed up to go on the trip, Pope Benedict was still the pope,” said John Gownley, assistant coordinator of liturgy for campus ministry and a chaperone for the trip. “Once we found out that a Jesuit had been elected, it changed things in a sense, because we feel a deep connection.”

Before joining fellow World Youth Day pilgrims, the Fordham delegation will first head to Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, the site where the Society of Jesus arrived in the 17th century to begin their mission in Latin America.

There, the group will participate in Magis 2013, a pastoral experience that is held in the days leading up to each World Youth Day. Grounded in Ignatian spirituality, Magis brings together members of Jesuit institutions from around the world for a week of cultural immersion and solidarity.

The Fordham delegates and their international companions will convene in Salvador da Bahia and then split into groups for immersion experiences. Activities range from volunteering on themed service projects, such as justice-oriented and environment-oriented excursions, to going on a pilgrimage.

“The students are really excited about the Magis component, because it means we’ll immerse ourselves in the Brazilian community as men and women for and with others,” Gownley said.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The group—which comprises seven students from each of the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses, as well as Gownley and Carol Gibney, associate director for campus ministry at Lincoln Center and director of Ignatian Programs—has been meeting throughout the academic year to prepare for the trip. In addition to fundraising, they have met monthly for spiritual reflection, cultural instruction, Portuguese language lessons, and even packing tutorials.

“I told them that before they leave, they should pack their bag and then walk down to their local mall and back. If they can do that with no problem, then they have packed well,” Gownley said.

For Deborah Adewale, a rising junior at Lincoln Center, knowing what to pack is hardly a concern. The Staten Island native went with her home parish to attend the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid. The effort it takes to prepare for the trip is well worth the experience that awaits the pilgrims, she said.

“It’s so uplifting to see youth like myself praising and worshipping together,” Adewale said. “The beautiful thing is that it shows how religion can unite people from different countries and walks of life.”

And despite being a World Youth Day veteran, Adewale has felt the anticipation as the date of departure drew closer.

“I would like to grow more in my faith through this experience,” she said. “But I do not know what to expect, so I hope for all the best.”

Gownley said that he hopes each student will receive from the experience just what he or she needs.

“At World Youth Day, you get to experience Catholicism on a global platform and see the real presence of God’s work in a way that is alive and active and not isolated to me here in my community,” Gownley said. “It validates something for them, especially because our students are growing up in a world where faith is secondary and is constantly challenged for them.”

Follow the group’s adventures live on their Twitter account @FordhamWYD and on Facebook at

 — Joanna Klimaski

Monday, July 8, 2013

Teasing or Taunting: Grad's Research Explores Ethnic Put-downs

Sara Douglass, Ph.D., GSAS'13, writes on race.
We've all seen it, heard it, and perhaps even participated in it: that gentle joshing of a friend about their race. In an increasingly diverse United States, ethnic categorization has taken on a far subtler approach than in the past, often hiding behind a mask of humor. A new study by Sara Douglass, Ph.D, GSAS '13, published online by the Society for Research on Adolescence noted that such teasing has become a standard brand of humor of for many adolescents and emerging adults.

Douglass noted that while some could argue that the teasing leads to good interpersonal relationships, it can also be labeled "micro-aggression" reflecting "biased and aggressive beliefs."

Douglass, who is white, said that her interests in racial issues began in college with a minor in African studies and from a period of study in Africa. On returning to U.S. she had a heightened awareness of racial issues.

"Understanding why we categorize people is interesting to me personally, but it's also important for our society to understand," she said. 

For the qualitative part of her study, Douglass interviewed 17-year-old to 18-year-old students at two New York City high schools. Setting out to discuss racial issues in general, she unexpectedly picked up on the phenomenon of racial teasing when several students consistently mentioned it.

The qualitative research set up the framework for the quantitative "diary study," where students answered a survey at the end of each day detailing the teasing. Seventy-nine high school students ages 15 and 16 participated. On high school was primarily Hispanic, while the second was more racially diverse. In addition, 117 college age students from Fordham and Princeton Universities also participated.

Douglass said that unlike research found in typical bullying/teasing literature, the students involved in racial ethnic teasing didn't simply play just the role of perpetrator or victim, but instead they often played several roles. Sometimes they were the perpetrator doing the teasing, other times they were on the receiving end, and quite often they made fun of their own race, thus teasing themselves. Lastly, students also played the role of witness to all of the above.

Douglass said there are two different perspectives outcomes. In some cases the teasing allows participants to gauge intimacy, but there's a flip-side for those on the receiving end.

"If you unpack the research a little bit more you actually find that the positive outcomes are felt by the individuals who have agency, which is true of the perpetrator and self-directed teasers," said Douglass. "But the victims never feel closer to the perpetrator and the witnesses just feel more anxiety."

To read Douglass' article click here.
-Tom Stoelker

Monday, July 1, 2013

WFUV Honored for Strike A Chord Campaign

WFUV, 90.7, Fordham’s 50,000-watt, non-commercial radio station, was honored on June 27 for its "Strike A Chord" campaign, a PSA campaign that focuses every quarter on issues such as affordable housing, job training, music education, senior services, and parks. 

Members of the station were honored by the Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc., an advocacy organization for New York’s behavioral health community, at the groups' 2013 Leadership Awards Reception at the Pfizer World Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. 

The station was honored for sponsoring programs aimed to de-stigmatize mental illness and addiction disorders, thereby encouraging individuals to seek treatment. The spring 2013 Strike A Chord campaign was dedicated to mental health stereotypes.

Previous winners have included Mike Wallace of CBS News and Dr. Oliver Sacks.

"I am enormously proud of the work we do in our newsroom to keep our listeners informed and enlightened about the world around them," said Strike A Chord producer George Bodarky.  

"It is always a thrill when that work is recognized. As always, I tip my hat to the hard work and dedication of the WFUV news and staffs," 

Stephen Freedman, Ph.D., Provost of Fordham,  Robin Shannon, Assistant
News and Public Affairs Director at WFUV, George Bodarky, News
and Public Affairs Director and SAC producer ; Morlene Chin, FCRH '13
 Cityscape senior producer, and Chuck Singleton, WFUV general manager.

—Patrick Verel