Fordham Notes: February 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

White House Selects Fordham for Cybersecurity Rollout

As co-host to the International Conference on Cyber Security (ICCS) with the FBI, Fordham has an established presence in the intelligence community. Now, Fordham has been selected by the White House as one of three New York City universities to be part of a national rollout of an executive order that calls for a framework to reduce the nation’s cyber risk.

Titled “Reducing the Nation’s Cyber Risk: White House Insights on the President’s Critical Infrastructure Framework,” the event will feature a panel discussion and keynote address from White House Director for Cybersecurity Critical Infrastructure Protection Samara Moore.

The School of Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS) and the Computer and Information Sciences Department will host the event on Tuesday, March 11 at both the Lincoln Center and Westchester campuses. Similar events will take place at Columbia and New York Universities.

“It fits perfectly with Fordham’s cybersecurity interests,” said Isabelle Frank, Ph.D., dean of PCS. “There's a track record here.”

Among the panelists will be Fordham's Frank Hsu, Ph.D., Clavius Distinguished Professor of Science and professor of computer and information science. Other panelists include:

  • Jon Boyens, senior advisor, information security, Information Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Bob Kolasky, director of strategy and policy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Doug Wylie, director, Product Security Risk Management, Rockwell Automation
  • David J. Youssef, cyber incident investigator, Citigroup; teaching fellow, Department of Computer and Information Sciences.   

The panel will be moderated by Michael Coden,, vice president of the New York Section of  ISA99 Cyber Security Standard Working Group and vice president at NextNine.

Coden said the discussion will address how President Obama's new cyber security framework will affect nearly all industries, including energy, finance, healthcare, communications, transportation, water, chemicals, IT, defense, manufacturing, and nuclear weaponry.

“And lawyers,” said Coden. “This will be big business for the legal profession.”

Tuesday, March 11th

Westchester Campus
8 – 11:30 a.m.
Rooms 228-230

Lincoln Center Campus
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
12th-floor Lounge
E. Gerald Corrigan Conference Center

-Tom Stoelker

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Drinks, Darwin, and God

So, a nun walks into a bar… and asserts with great intellect and conviction that Darwin’s theories and the Catholic tradition are not mutually exclusive.

Though lacking a punch line, the Office of Alumni Relations' “Faith on Tap” event on Feb. 25 was hardly without mirth--thanks in no small part to the wit of speaker Elizabeth Johnson, C.S.J., Distinguished Professor of Theology.

The conversation centered on Sister Johnson’s new book, Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love (Bloomsbury, 2014).

The scene would hardly surprise those familiar with Fordham’s grand tradition of imbibing and discussing. Author Edgar Allan Poe called Rose Hill Jesuits “highly cultivated gentlemen and scholars” with whom he smoked, drank, and played cards.

What Poe probably didn’t gamble on was that tradition would evolve into a nun leading a Times Square discussion on Darwin’s On The Origin of Species (a book that had yet to be published when Poe lived in the Bronx).

Peter Wallace, FCRH’10, one of approximately 60 alumni in attendance, called the event "classic Fordham”.

From a chair in the middle of crowd, Sister Johnson described how her book explores respect for the environment though “our tradition”. Her research included close reading of Darwin, St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope John Paul II, late twentieth century feminism, and scripture.

“I didn’t set out make up something that’s new,” said Sister Johnson. "We have the tradition, we just need to pull it forward and own it again. We need to be converted to the earth.”

Sister Johnson noted that in 1990 Pope John Paul II said that the “dignity of the human person must extend to all of creation.” She said that the church needs to expand its focus and tackle ecological issues.

“We are failing our kin right now in the way we are acting,” she said. “It’s not just a moral issue but a spiritual issue.”

Sister Johnson didn’t shy away from the fundamentalists versus scientists debate, noting that Darwin, too, was a man of faith who struggled with his scientific findings. Oddly enough, he faced most resistance from the scientific community.

Today, she said, reading the On the Origin of Species can help strengthen one’s faith in God, allowing one to see the natural world differently.

“If you have this idea of God as a monarchical—and let me say it—male God ruling over everything, then you when see something naturally happen, it threatens that idea of God,” she said. “But if you have an idea of God as a God of Love who is dwelling with, suffering with, and moving in, company with the evolving earth, than it's not a threat.”

"Faith On Tap" is sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations.

--Tom Stoelker

Ailey/Fordham Concert to Benefit Dancers

Playful Vibes. Rushing into the Dream of the Night. Pulse Suspended. 

These are just a few of the pieces that will bring exquisite, exhilarating movement of bodies to Fordham’s Pope Auditorium next week, as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater/Fordham University BFA program stages its annual benefit performance.

Thursday, March 6
7 p.m.
Pope Auditorium, Lowenstein Center, Lincoln Center Building 

The benefit, which has been a tradition at the Lincoln Center campus since 2001, features performances from each class of Fordham/Ailey students. The dance performances are followed by a reception where dancers meet members of the Fordham community, including many of the benefactors who helped fund the scholarships that enable them to attend.

The BFA degree, a unique partnership between the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Ailey School, and Fordham, combines the finest in dance and liberal arts education in a four-year program. Students complete a diverse curriculum while attending both institutions full time.

For more information, contact Rodger Van Allen at (212) 636-6562 or visit the alumni website.

—Patrick Verel

Thursday, February 20, 2014

How Flat is the World? Finance Expert Offers Answers

Bruce Greenwald (photo: Dana Maxson)
Yes, we live in a “flat” world, but other trends are just as relevant to understanding the current state of the global economy, a leading financial expert said Feb. 19 in a talk sponsored by Fordham. 

“It’s not just about globalization. There are other trends that are as or more important,” said Bruce Greenwald, Ph.D., professor of finance and asset management at Columbia Business School and director of research and senior advisor at First Eagle Funds. Among the trends are “extraordinary improvements in manufacturing productivity” and more demand for services, he said. 

He gave a talk at the Harmonie Club in Manhattan that was sponsored by the Fordham Wall Street Council and Fordham's Schools of Business. Throughout the talk he referred to Thomas Friedman’s book, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty First Century (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2005), saying certain of its predictions never came to pass. 

He noted that innovations in information technology had been expected to fuel “relentless low-wage, high-quality competition from places like China and India,” imperiling U.S. companies. In fact, he said, American companies have thrived because technology fueled the breakup of markets into smaller niches—either geographic areas or types of products and services—that are easier to dominate. 

For instance, he said, “if you look at the history of the personal computer industry, the people who make all the money are not the Apples and the IBMs, who try to do everything, or the Japanese chip makers who try to do everything. It is the people who specialize—Google in search, Oracle in databases, Intel only in CPU chips.” 

Also protecting companies from globalization’s effects is the trend toward services, which are “predominantly local markets” and therefore easier to dominate, he said. An example is John Deere’s success in its tractor servicing business, he said: “In servicing tractors, you can dominate local geographies by having the best sales and service organization in that geography.”

“The technology changes, coupled with these changes in the degree of competition in (the) service-oriented economy, seem to have created an environment where, a), globalization is irrelevant, and b), these firms have the freedom and autonomy from competition to actually institute aggressive and successful cost reduction, or productivity improvement, projects.”

The real problem today is international trade imbalances that make it very hard to sustain economic growth over the long term, he said. Trade imbalances—long a feature of the global economy—are being driven by countries that are trying to keep their manufacturing sectors alive, which fuels the production of goods that have to be exported because there’s not enough domestic demand for them, he said. 

--Chris Gosier

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Racism, Civil War, and the Ivy League

Craig Wilder, Ph.D., FCRH '87
During the pre-Civil War era, much of the North and its institutions worked for the emancipation of all slaves and the end to racial segregation. In his latest book, Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013), MIT history professor Craig S. Wilder, Ph.D., FCRH ’87, does much to expose another side of history. He documents very real ties between Northern universities—the Ivy League in particular—and the perpetuation of a slave economy and racial inequality.

Wilder returns to his alma mater for a lecture on the Rose Hill campus on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. in the Flom Auditorium of William D. Walsh Family Library, titled "How Slavery Shaped Schools: Northern Opposition to Black Education in Pre-Civil War America."

His lecture will focus on African Americans’ struggle to gain access to higher education, including attempts to build colleges and to integrate existing schools.

“Cities like New York had deep economic ties to slavery in the South and the West Indies, a fact that influenced their politics and created a deep anti-abolitionist tradition,” said Wilder. “These regions saw extraordinary violence and resistance—mob attacks, assaults, and court proceedings—to stop the higher education of African Americans.”

A native of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Wilder earned his undergraduate degree in history at Fordham before moving on to Columbia University to attend graduate school and earn two masters’ and a doctoral degree. He worked in the Bronx as a community organizer after graduation.

The lecture is sponsored by the Dean of the College of Fordham at Rose Hill and is open to the public.

Wilder discussed the book on NPR this past September.

Friday, February 14, 2014

PEDs discussed at the Fordham Sports Law Symposium

One of the main topics up for discussion in the Fordham Sports Law Forum’s 18th Annual Symposium on Current Legal Issues in Sports on Feb. 14 couldn’t have been more timely.

In a year in which Major League Baseball suspended New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez for performance enhancement drug use for the entire 2014 season, panelists at the Fordham Sports Law Forum Symposium discussed arguments surrounding the permissibility of performance enhancement.

The all-day event also debated hip-hop mogul Jay Z’s venture into sports (“The New Face of Sports Agency: The Runner Rule and Roc Nation’s Challenge to Traditional Notions of Athlete Representation”), and efforts by a group of American Indians who filed a petition in an attempt to cancel all of the Washington ‘Redskins’ and related trademarks registered by the team (Marooning the Mascot: The Implications of Blackhorse v. Pro-Football.)

This is the 18th year for the symposium, which has attracted many of the top practitioners in the industry.

Check out this compilation of tweets during the performance enhancement drugs discussion featuring Marc Edelman, an adjunct at Fordham Law and an associate professor of law at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, and Arthur Caplan, the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, on STORIFY.

-Gina Vergel

Monday, February 10, 2014

Up on the Roof: Birding in NYC

Partridge's study of migrating birds on NYC's green roofs is one of the first of its kind.
Photo by Dustin Partridge

Dustin Partridge is not a city person. The biology doctoral candidate in Fordham's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences said that no one is more surprised than he that the subject of his dissertation would be so urban focused.

“I never imagined that I’d be studying wildlife on the roofs of New York City,” Partridge said.

His four years of research have revealed that many migratory birds that pass through New York City each year are using the green roofs as the bird-equivalent of boutique hotels: small, somewhat exclusive little crash pads where they can feast on the insects that have also settled there.

Partridge garnered notice in the Jan. 27 issue of  National Wildlife magazine for his “resourceful” research.

As anyone who lives in New York knows, getting rooftop access is not an easy task. Partridge said that the green-roof owners were more than accommodating, but nearby non-green roofs were needed in order to control the study, and these proved much harder to secure.

Partridge had studied birds in Maine before decamping to New York to work as an adviser for an engineering firm. After observing a few endangered bird species, his interest in urban ecology was piqued.

Because New York City is the Atlantic flyway, millions of birds that pass through during fall and spring migration require stopovers to replenish their fat. During the season hundreds of species to land in Central Park en masse, in what has become known as the Central Park Effect.

“The Central Park Effect makes the park super-concentrated, with about 200 species a year--even random birds from Africa,” said Partridge. “It made me curious about smaller spots in the city.”

Partridge said that, in addition to non-green roofs, he studied two types of rooftops: intensive roofs, with a significant depth of soil and well maintained gardens; and extensive roofs, with less soil and succulents that require little soil, maintenance, or water.

“In all I’ve recorded 37 species, and of them 26 were unique to green roofs--the woodcocks and humming birds were very unexpected,” he said, adding that there were plenty of insects and spiders for them to eat and whose presence sparked yet another series of questions for the biologist. “How do they get there? What shapes their community?”
-Tom Stoelker

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Prof. Paul Levinson on John, Paul, George, and Ringo

Communications Professor Paul Levinson was one of the 73 million Americans who watched "The Ed Sullivan Show" on Sunday, Feb. 9, 1964, when the Beatles' performance took the United States by storm. Today marks the 50th Anniversary of that transformational television appearance in the United States. 

Levinson spoke to Fox News Radio about the appeal of the lads from Liverpool (that Mr. Sullivan described as "fine youngsters") and why their music is as popular today as it ever was.

You can hear parts one and two of the interview below:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Winter, with that certain slant of light

The pristine beauty of a new snowfall doesn’t last for long in New York City. But on Tuesday, Feb. 4, while Monday's stormy excess was still in its prime, photographer Dana Maxson captured the moment on Fordham's Lincoln Center campus--presented here as fine art.

(Photos by Dana Maxson)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Doing Donne -- Molly Peacock with Nigel Smith on Feb. 13

Molly Peacock, an acclaimed writer of poetry and creative nonfiction, will appear on Feb. 13 at the next Poets Out Loud event, which will highlight the connections between modern poetry and the work of canonical English poet John Donne. 

Peacock will read Donne’s poetry along with some of her works that were influenced by Donne, said Heather Dubrow, Ph.D., holder of Fordham’s Reverend John Boyd S.J. Chair in Poetic Imagination and director of Poets Out Loud, the poetry community based at the Lincoln Center campus.  

Also appearing will be Nigel Smith, a professor of early modern literature at Princeton, who will perform musical settings of Donne’s work. 

“In general, I think it’s wonderful when people do read the earlier and contemporary poetry together, because there are so many connections, and Donne is of course one of the great love poets and great religious poets of our language,” Dubrow said. 

It will be the third in a series of events, initiated and co-organized by Fordham, that show how Donne’s work is linked to that of today’s poets. Barnard College and the New York Public Library have held similar events, and another is coming up April 15 at the Helix Center in Manhattan. Also, Poets Out Loud collaborated with the John Donne Society to incorporate this theme into the society’s conference in Baton Rouge, La., later this month. 

The event will be held Thursday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. in the 12th-floor Lounge/Corrigan Center, Lowenstein Center, at the Lincoln Center campus. It is free and open to the public. 

Molly Peacock’s most recent book is The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delaney Begins Her Life’s Work at 72 (Bloomsbury USA, 2010). She is the author of six books of poetry, recipient of numerous honors, and one of the creators of Poetry in Motion, seen on buses and subways across North America. 

Smith will perform musical settings—co-composed with Andrew C. Lovett—of poems by both John Donne and Paul Muldoon. 

This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc., with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

--Chris Gosier

Alumni Spotlight: Decades of Continued Service to Fordham

It’s a winter of Fordham anniversaries for Nick O’Neill, FCRH ’55. In February, he and fellow classmate Bob Miller celebrate 20 years hosting their monthly Alumni Career Continuance Support Group meetings; and in March and April, O’Neill returns for his 30th year coordinating the annual alumni retreats.

In 1984, as president of the Fordham College Alumni Association, O’Neill was working with the Office of Alumni Relations on social and cultural programming for alumni, when he realized that a spiritual component was absent. “With their help, we set in motion the retreats,” he says, at Inisfada, the St. Ignatius Retreat House, and Mount Manresa Jesuit Retreat House.

The annual retreats, which are based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, provide alumni, family, and friends a quiet haven for contemplation, prayer, and fellowship. This year, the retreats will welcome alumni to the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, N.Y. (March 28-30), and Loyola House of Retreats in Morristown, N.J. (April 4-6).

“I’ve never had anyone say that it wasn’t worth it or anything negative,” O’Neill says of the retreats. “It’s always positive.”
Nick O'Neill, FCRH '55, and his wife, Pat O'Neill, GRE '90, share a moment with Father McShane at a luncheon celebrating the Alumni Career Continuance Support Group, which Nick and classmate Bob Miller co-founded in 1994.
(Photo by Bruce Gilbert)

The Long Island native, who commuted to the Rose Hill campus every day in the early 1950s to study economics, went on to a career in sales. For the majority of his career, he sold advertising time for many New York radio stations, including WNEW-AM and WINS. Later, O’Neill worked as a broker, selling group medical and life insurance, before retiring two years ago.

Along with spending time with his family—wife of 55 years, Pat, a 1990 alumna of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, and their son, James, daughter-in-law, Ellen, and grandsons, Seamus and Liam—O’Neill finds much meaningful work in his retirement.

He participates in the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, which provides adults age 50 and older opportunities to grow in their Christian faith and work in the Jesuit tradition to serve people in need. For seven years, he’s volunteered twice a week to tutor students in English, math, and social studies at the De La Salle School, a Catholic middle school in Freeport, Long Island.

A devoted Fordham alumnus, O’Neill regularly returns to the campuses. He served as chair of his class’s 25th Jubilee reunion in 1980, and comes back to the annual reunion every five years. He is a season ticket holder for men’s basketball games, and a member of Maroon Club and Rebounders Club, two of Fordham athletics’ support groups. He also makes monthly visits to the Lincoln Center campus as co-founder of the Alumni Career Continuance Support Group.

O’Neill and co-founder Bob Miller, FCRH ’55, held the first meeting of the career group in February 1994, but the idea came to them the year before, when O’Neill, an independent insurance broker, was seeking a new job. He contacted Miller, a principal in a New Jersey-based career outplacement and consulting service, for help. After O’Neill landed a job, the two decided to form the Career Continuance Support Group to share their career advice and expertise with the Fordham community.
1955 FCRH classmates and co-founders
of the Alumni Career Continuance
Support Group, Nick O'Neill and
Bob Miller (Photo by Bruce Gilbert)

Over the many years, the two men have helped hundreds of Fordham alumni and friends who are out of work, contemplating a career change, or searching for more meaningful employment.

“When people come back and say, ‘I start my new job next week,’ that’s enough to say why we do it,” says O’Neill. “When we first started, I asked Bob, ‘How many people do we need to be successful?’ He said, ‘one.’ So if we can help one person, then we are successful.”

The group’s sessions, held on the last Saturday of each month, cover resume writing, interviewing, the role of the Internet, and many other topics. “Only one session canceled in 20 years,” O’Neill says. “Due to the weather.”

And save for another severe winter storm in New York City, they won’t miss a second session. The next one, on Feb. 22, celebrates the 20th anniversary of the group.

“It’s amazing to see the growth [of the University], and to still be a part of it,” says O’Neill.

“Fordham means a lot to me. I’ve tried to do my share of giving back.”

—Rachel Buttner
Find out how you can get and stay connected to your alma mater.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fordham Superbowl Flyover

Superbowl Heads Up

Had you looked up on Superbowl Sunday, you would have seen a Fordham alumnus. Lt. Col. Bernard J. Harrington, Gabelli ’97, was commanding officer of the U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment. He led a flight of nine helicopters on their flyover of MetLife Stadium just as the national anthem was ending. 

Three AH-64D Apache Helicopters on a Practice Flight over MetLife Stadium
Jennifer Brizzolara Harrington
and Bernard J.Harrington
Harrington, an Apache helicopter pilot, commanded three Apache, three Blackhawk, and three Chinook helicopters during the flyover. He is part of a contingent of soldiers from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) from Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

"It's an incredible honor to lead a team of professional, selfless soldiers and represent our armed forces during Super Bowl XLVIII," Harrington said. "Like so many military officers serving today, I feel that my Fordham experience, particularly being a member of the Pershing Rifles, provided me an outstanding foundation to serve in today's military. I was also blessed to meet my wife, Jennifer, at Fordham. She has always been the most important part of my life since leaving Rose Hill."

Harrington and his wife, Jennifer Brizzolara Harrington, FCRH ’97, live in Fort Campbell. Bernard Harrington is from Rego Park, New York, and was commissioned from the ROTC Battalion at Fordham, where he was a member of the Pershing Rifles drill team. He is a graduate of Xavier High School, in Manhattan.

Jennifer Harrington is from Wilmington, Delaware. She graduated from Fordham with a degree in anthropology, is currently raising their 3-year-old son, Jeremy, at home. Both her father and sister attended Fordham.

An Apache Helicopter from Harrington's Command
Flies Past the Freedom Tower in Lower Manhattan on a Practice Flight
Bernard Harrington and Jennifer Brizzolara at Commencement, Rose Hill 1997

—Bob Howe