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Noteworthy Announcements in the College of Arts & Sciences

Heather Coleman

Taking a Stand for Trees (posted 10-14-2019)#

Heather Coleman, associate professor in the biology department, co-authored a letter in Science urging forestry organizations to lift the ban on biotech trees—those that have been genetically modified. She says the ban “unfairly besmirches the reputation of trees modified by genetic engineering or gene editing.” She believes that such trees can actually contribute to forest management by better resisting disease or other factors. Professor Coleman’s research interests lie in plant biotechnology, genetic and environmental control of cell wall formation, xylogenesis, molecular farming and functional genomics. Read more about her letter.

Debbie Urbanski

Alumna Receives Writing Award (posted 10-09-2019)#

Debbie Urbanski, a 2004 MFA alumna, recently received a 2019 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. It is given annually to six female writers who demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Rona Jaffe Awards have helped many women build successful writing careers by offering encouragement and financial support at a critical time. This year, the awards were increased to $40,000 each and were presented to the six recipients on September 12 in New York City. Congratulations, Debbie!

Michael Marciano

DNA: The Building Blocks of Achievement (posted 10-01-2019)#

Dr. Michael Marciano, a research assistant professor in A&S’ FNSSI, has recently been appointed to the national Forensic Science Organization of Scientific Area Committees, a forensic science regulatory and standardization board administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He will join a group of 20 other nationally recognized experts on the Biological Data Interpretation and Reporting Subcommittee to help standardize forensic DNA analyses. In addition, he and Professor Jonathan Adelman, also of FNSSI, have developed an innovative new tool, PACE, which can estimate the number of contributors in a DNA sample in a matter of seconds. Supported by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), PACE was recognized as one of NIJ’s success stories.

Tej Bhatia

Guest Editor, Tej Bhatia (posted 09-26-2019)#

Tej K. Bhatia is a Professor of Linguistics and Director of South Asian Languages in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics. He recently served as guest-editor for the Journal of the International Association for World Englishes. The edited volume, World Englishes and Cross-Cultural Advertising, features 16 articles, which examine theory, best practices, and new trends in global advertising. His three articles explored the characteristics and dynamics of language mixing, religion, and emotions used by global advertisers to reach their super-diverse consumers. In other words, how do global advertisers use local and national languages in their advertisements to reach their intended audiences? Learn more about professor Bhatia’s accomplishments by visiting his profile page.

American Physical Society logo

Physics Professors Named as APS Fellows (posted 09-24-2019)#

Congratulations to physics professors Lisa Manning (also director of the Biomaterials Institute) and Christian Santangelo who have been elected as Fellows of the American Physical Society (APS). Each year, this honor is accorded to just half of one percent of the Society’s members, in acknowledgement of their contributions to the field. Lisa Manning was recommended by the Division of Condensed Matter Physics with this citation: “For microscopic theory of flow and rigidity in disordered and biological materials.” Chris Santangelo was recommended by the Division of Soft Matter for “[S]eminal theoretical contributions exploiting geometry and topology to understand the elasticity of soft materials.” Congratulations, Lisa and Chris!

Emma Brodeur

Emma Brodeur Joins Department of Jewish Studies (posted 09-23-2019)#

Dean Karin Ruhlandt recently announced the appointment of Emma Brodeur as a visiting professor of Jewish Studies. Brodeur’s research focuses on Continental philosophy, the study of religion, and psychoanalysis with a focus on modern Jewish thought and culture. Made possible in part by a recent $1.5 million gift by the Phyllis Backer Foundation—chaired by A&S alumnus Leonard S. Elman ’52 (Pol. Sci.), a strong supporter of the humanities and social sciences—this professorship brings interdisciplinary perspective on contemporary Jewish experience, culture and ideas.


Physicist Wins Grant to Support Ongoing Research Into Neutrinos (posted 08-27-2019)#

Associate Professor Mitchell Soderberg is the recipient of a $100,000 grant award from the Office of High-Energy Physics in the U.S. Department of Energy. He and his colleagues will use the award to find new ways to measure the properties of liquid argon, an excellent target for neutrino experiments. (Neutrinos are tiny, elusive particles that hold clues to the origin of the universe.) “Neutrinos come in three types, and, while hurtling through space and matter, often change from type into another. We can understand their behavior by studying the tracks they leave behind in a liquid-argon detector,” Soderberg says.


Psychology Professor Awarded NIAAA Grant  (posted 08-26-2019)#

Associate Professor Aesoon Park is using a grant from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to study developmental and proximal sleep-alcohol associations across diverse racial groups of youth. “We examine risk pathways involving social adversity exposures and stress-dysregulation in these associations over time,” says Park, who specilaizes in high-risk health behavior, with emphasis on alcohol use and misuse. The project's co-investigators are Syracuse professors Stephen Maisto and Les Gellis and Yale professor Lisa Fucito.

Accreditation Status Reaffirmed for School Psychology Program (posted 08-26-2019)#

The American Psychological Association (APA)’s Commission on Accreditation has reaffirmed the accreditation status of our School Psychology Program. Directed by Associate Professor Tanya Eckert (shown here), the Ph.D. program prepares psychology students to meet the needs of children in schools and other child-related settings. APA is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. 


Promoting Leadership Through Storytelling (posted 08-22-2019)#

“Before I started this program, I didn't know I was a writer. Now I know,” says Istarlin Dafe, regarding her involvement with the Narratio Fellowship program, co-developed by Ahmed Badhr, a writer and former refugee of Iraq, and Brice Nordquist, assistant professor of writing and rhetoric in A&S. Narratio brings together refugee artists and resettled refugee youth, such as Dafe, to explore the full range of their experiences through modes of artistic expression. Launched in collaboration with the Syracuse University Humanities Center and the North Side Learning Center, the program includes workshops and guest speakers, culminating in a performance of the Fellows' original poetry at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo: Narratio Fellow Ibraheem Abdi performing at The Met in July.   


Answering the Call (posted 08-22-2019)#

Justin Alvey, a senior majoring in Earth sciences, is a 2019 recipient of the Deana and Paul Strunk Military Veterans Scholarship. Awarded by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation, the scholarship supports education and career opportunities for veterans such as Alvey, who also is a specialist in the Army. His other honors include the 2019 Vincent E. McKelvey Scholarship and the 2018 Estwing Award, both conferred upon him by the Earth sciences department.   


Alumni Burnish College's Reputation for Excellence (posted 08-21-2019)#

A trio of physics alumni are making headlines for their contributions to science and society. They include James McCollough ’04 (shown here), who has been working on a large unmanned satellite called DSX, which collects data for studying the radiation environment in space. Other notables are David Bishop ’73, a Boston University professor who has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and Qi Wang G'94, chief scientist at JinkoSolar, who is speaking this fall at the World Solar Congress in Shanghai. 


Trilobites on Ice (posted 08-20-2019)#

Students, faculty and alumni of the Earth sciences department recently traveled to Alberta and British Columbia to study glaciers and fossils of the Canadian Rockies. Titled "Trilobites on Ice," the six-day field trip included visits to the Athabasca Glacier, a toe of the largest ice field in the Rockies; the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail, home to various Cambrian strata and trace fossils; and the Cambrian Burgess Shale quarries, containing some of the best examples of Cambrian animal fossils. Participants included Michael Thonis '72, vice chair of the Syracuse University Board of Trustees, a member of the A&S Dean's Advisory Board and a longtime supporter of the Earth sciences department. 


Physicist Awarded NIH Grants to Study Protein-Protein Interactions (posted 08-19-2019)#

Professor Liviu Movileanu is the recipient of two grant awards from the National Institutes of Health. One is a four-year, renewal Research Project Grant (R01) for $1.2 million, supporting ongoing development of nanopore-based biosensors, used to study transient protein-protein interactions (PPIs) in cell signaling under tumor-like conditions. The other grant is a $58,000 instrumentation supplement, associated with a second, parallel R01 award, funding the purchase of a single-molecule, electrical recording device for studying PPIs with colleagues at SUNY Upstate Medical University. “These proposed studies will impact healthcare by creating selective nanodevices that operate in complex biological fluids and in a high-throughput fashion,” he says.


Ice Cream Social Serves Up Memories, Fun (posted 08-19-2019)#

Faculty and staff gathered at the Life Sciences Complex for the College's annual ice cream social. Hosted by Dean Ruhlandt, the event rewarded employees for their hard work and dedication, as well as recognized people celebrating milestone years of service at the University. (Among them was Ruhlandt, a 25-year veteran of the chemistry faculty.) "Your commitment to the growth and success of the College models the qualities of dedication, rigor and stewardship that we seek to instill in every student," she told attendees.


Faculty Make Headlines (posted 08-19-2019)#

A&S has many faculty experts who offer expert commentrary and analysis. They include Duncan Brown, the Charles Brightman Endowed Professor of Physics, who recently talked to CBS News about the discovery of a mysterious light flare in a black hole; Liviu Movileanu, professor of physics, and Aesoon Park, associate professor of psychology, both of whom were interviewed by CNN about liquid biopsies and the secondhand harms of drinking, respectively; Walter Freeman, assistant teaching professor of physics, who spoke with Smithsonian Magazine about a gel-like substance found on the moon's surface; and Kari Segraves, associate professor of biology, who discussed the decline in bee health with the Bloomberg Media Group. 

Adults conducting speech research with child

CSD Seeks Participants for Speech Research (posted 08-08-2019)#

The Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders is recruiting children from nine to seventeen years old  who have been diagnosed with, or who are suspected to have, childhood apraxia of speech, for a research study. The study is exploring the effectiveness of different treatments for speech sound disorders. Children will participate in a variety of speech and language tests during a two-hour session. More info.

Professor Mike Kalish accepting an award

Psychology Department Earns Major Awards (posted 08-08-2019)#

Two faculty members and one student won significant awards at this year’s meeting of the Society for Mathematical Psychology. Congratulations to Mike Kalish who took home the R. Duncan Luce Outstanding Paper Award, David Kellen who won the William K. Estes Early Career Award and Sharon Chen who won a Women of Mathematical Psychology Travel and Networking Award. Photo of Professor Mike Kalish by Leslie Blaha.

student helping child at Shaw Center

In Praise of Public Service (posted 07-25-2019)#

Eight of this year’s 10 recipients of the Robert B. Menschel Public Service Award are in A&S: Rachel Ameen ’20 (political science; environment, sustainability and policy; and policy studies), Kenza Bouanane ’21 (international relations and philosophy), Meredith Conway ’20 (political science and public relations), Sophie Edelstein-Rosenberg ‘21 (psychology), Iris Guzman ’20 (citizenship & civic engagement, psychology, and forensic science), Clare Leo ’20 (history and English & textual studies), Natalia Rice ’20 (sociology and English & textual studies) and Allison Smith ’20 (psychology and neuroscience). Administered by the University’s Shaw Center, the award is named for Honorary Trustee Robert B. Menschel ’51, H’91, a longtime supporter of nonprofit internships.


A&S Professor to Speak at São Paula Museum of Art (posted 07-19-2019)#

Scott Manning Stevens, associate professor and director of Native American and Indigenous studies, is participating in a multinational seminar in Brazil about the relationship between Indigenous people and museums. “I will focus on the Skä-noñh—Great Law of Peace Center [at Onondaga Lake, near campus] to address the contest between settler-state narratives and Indigenous histories of place,” says Stevens, a citizen of Canada's Akwesasne Mohawk Nation. The renowned teacher-scholar frequently lends his expertise to other organizations, including the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha and the Adirondack Experience (formerly the Adirondack Museum) in Upstate New York. (Photo: U.S. Army)


Earth Scientists Awarded NSF Grants (posted 07-19-2019)#

Assistant Professors Tripti Bhattacharya and Melissa Chipman are using National Science Foundation (NSF) support to look to the past to predict future climate change. A Thonis Family Professor, Bhattacharya integrates molecular studies of ancient sediments and regional climate models to understand how rainfall, particularly in the American Southwest, responds to elevated greenhouse gases. Chipman combines paleoecological methods with aerial and satellite imagery to examine the impact of wildfires, permafrost degradation and shrub expansion on the Alaskan tundra. (Photo: NASA)

Chromosome Misalignment

Alumna Research on Science Journal Cover (posted 07-02-2019)#

The work of Erin Curtis ’18 is featured on the June cover of Molecular Biology of the Cell (The American Society for Cell Biology, 2019). In addition to co-authoring the article, she designed the chromosome-inspired cover art. Curtis worked in the lab of Biology Professor Heidi Hehnly before becoming a Ph.D. candidate in cell and molecular biology at Duke University. 

CFAC Heats Up for Summer of Great Programming (posted 06-28-2019)#

Works by four young artists is the subject of the Collective Display Art Show, running through Aug. 16 at the Community Folk Art Center (CFAC). Curator Jaleel Campbell (shown here) started the show five years ago in a Syracuse barbershop as a way to promote African disapora artists. "The Collective Display exemplifies what our mission and vision are all about," says Executive Director Tanisha Jackson, who recently closed the books on CFAC's 47th annual Teenage Competitive Art Exhibition. A longtime partner of A&S, CFAC also is ramping up for its annual Creative Arts Academy, a four-week arts and culture camp for students in grades 5-8. 

Michelle Zaso

Psychology Alumna Wins National Research Award (posted 06-21-2019)#

Congratulations to Michelle Zaso G’15, G’19, who is a 2018-19 recipient of the Doctoral Dissertation Research Excellence Award from The Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Her award-winning study looks at how genetics and peer environments shape alcohol use among adolescents. “Our work accelerates the design of prevention and intervention efforts to curtail underage drinking and its grave consequences,” says Zaso, who earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Exterior shot of Huntington Hall

Psychology PRIDE Symposium (posted 06-19-2019)#

Students in the PRIDE (Psychology Research Initiative in Diversity Enhancement) summer program will showcase their original research on Thursday, June 27 from 2-4 p.m. in 432 Huntington Hall. For seven weeks, psychology majors from underrepresented groups in science have gained hands-on lab experience, as well as professional development skills to prepare them for graduate school. Participants were matched with a faculty and graduate-student mentor in various areas of psychology. The goal of the PRIDE program is to broaden the participation in the sciences, especially for students from underrepresented groups.

Otto in the Dome

A&S to Host Staff Appreciation Picnic May 31 (posted 05-29-2019)#

A&S will hold its first annual Staff Appreciation Picnic on Friday, May 31, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Kenneth A. Shaw Quadrangle. Open to all full- and part-time staff members in the College, the rain-or-shine event will include food, activities and giveaways. Sponsors include Apizza Regionale, Azteca Mexican Grill, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Finally Our's Diner, Insomnia Cookies, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Sharkey's Bar and Grill, SkanTown Barber Shop, Strong Hearts Café, the Syracuse Mets and Varsity Pizza.

Melissa Chipman

Earth Scientist Wins Back-to-Back Awards (posted 05-29-2019)#

Assistant Professor Melissa Chipman is using grant awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Geographic Society to support her ongoing research into climate and environmental reconstructions in the Arctic. Thanks to the NSF, she has helped the University acquire a multi-sensor core logger—a suite of instruments used to analyze core materials, such as ancient lake sediments and rock cores. The National Geographic Society is underwriting her involvement with a multinational study of the effects of the 2017 wildfires in Greenland.

People sitting in chairs.

"Language Matters" Symposium May 29-30 (posted 05-23-2019)#

How can language research contribute to social justice and the well-being of our university, city, country, world, and future? Language Matters is a newly formed language-research consortium at Syracuse University aiming to answer these questions. Free and open to the public, this two-day event will feature multiple guest speakers and discussions of contemporary language research and teaching issues. Event details

Lyn Lifshin

Albany Public Library to Celebrate Alumna Poet (posted 05-22-2019)#

The Albany Public Library (APL) Foundation is honoring poet Lyn Lifshin ’60. In June, the New York-based nonprofit will screen a documentary about her titled “Not Made of Glass.” This fall, the APL Foundation will recognize Lifshin as a 2019 Literary Legend for her “contributions to literature and the City of Albany.” She is the author of more than 120 books and chapbooks, including “Little Dancer: The Degas Poems” (NightBallet Press, 2017).         

Christopher Junium

Breathing New Life in Ancient History (posted 05-21-2019)#

Associate Professor Christopher Junium has demonstrated that ammonium—an odiferous chemical compound, often used in fertilizer—was a vital source of nitrogen for early life on Earth. Working with colleagues from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and Royal Holloway in London, he has discovered chemical signatures of ammonium in rare 2.7 billion-year-old rock. “As long as other nutrients such as iron and phosphorous were present, ammonium in ancient oceans may have helped stimulate the production of oxygen some 400 million years before its appearance in the atmosphere,” he says.

Silhouette of person inserting a ballot into a box

Student Shines in National Problem-Solving Competition (posted 05-16-2019)#

Sayem Sinha, a junior majoring in psychology, has won second place in the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) STEM Scholarship competition. The recipient of a $3,000 scholarship, he is the second Syracuse student to place in the national problem-solving competition in the past three years. His entry, titled “Surveying in Science,” considers ways to improve the accuracy of presidential election polling.    

Sylvia Montijo

Alumna to Join Teach for America (posted 05-16-2019)#

Sylvia Montijo ’19 can’t wait to put her liberal arts training to work. This fall, she begins a two-year appointment with Teach for America (TFA), serving as a special education teacher at a New York City middle school. Montijo also plans to earn a master’s degree at the Relay Graduate School of Education. “[TFA] values diversity, inclusion and equity, and aligns with my ideologies about education,” says the first-generation college alumna, who recently earned bachelor’s degrees in international relations and education.   

Student talking at podium

Exploring Gender Stereotypes in Robots (posted 05-16-2019)#

Emily Loparco '21, a triple major in German language, literature and culture in A&S; economics in A&S and Maxwell; and information management and technology in the iSchool, won the Max Kade Prize for the best paper presented at the Ninth Undergraduate Research Conference in German Studies at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. Emily's paper explored the beginning of gender-stereotyping in robots as depicted in the 1816 German short story, "The Sandman." She notes that female robots are typically used for nursing while male robots are used for defensive and protective duties. 

Gizem Şengör

Physics Alumna Awarded Postdoctoral Fellowship in Prague (posted 05-13-2019)#

Gizem Şengör G’18 is a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Central European Institute for Cosmology and Fundamental Physics (CEICO) in Prague. A member of CEICO’s Cosmology Group, she focuses on dark energy, as well as the role of gravity on the accelerated expansion of the Universe. At Syracuse, Gizem studied under Associate Professor Scott Watson, and belonged to the Theoretical Cosmology and Elementary Particle Physics research group.

Jason Fridley sitting on a log

Biologist to Use Fulbright Award to Study Abroad (posted 05-13-2019)#

Jason Fridley, associate professor of biology, has received the Hauts-de-France Regional Award from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. For six months next year, he will study the spread of invasive ragweed in the northernmost region of France. “My goal is to develop and test a model of the response to ragweed to continued climate change in the Hauts-de-France region, where the plant is an increasing health concern,” says Fridley, who will collaborate with Guillaume Decocq, a biology professor at the University of Picardie Jules Verne.

Arthur Flowers and Spike Lee

English Professor Consults on Spike Lee Film (posted 05-09-2019)#

Arthur Flowers, associate professor of English, is a consultant on the upcoming Spike Lee film, “Da 5 Bloods”—a Vietnam War veteran drama starring Chadwick Boseman (“Black Panther”). “It feels like we’re actually on the battleground together—me and my brothers in struggle, all for one and one for all,” writes Flowers from the set in Thailand. A Vietnam vet, Flowers also is working on a novel and a book of nonfiction. 

Group of new members

New Honor Society Inducts First Class (posted 05-09-2019)#

The National Honor Society in Neuroscience, Nu Rho Psi, held its inaugural induction ceremony on May 1. Five faculty members and more than 30 students were inducted in a ceremony that included remarks by Provost Michele Wheatly. This chapter, New York Delta, is advised by Professor Kate Lewis and is one of only four in New York State.

Julia Zeh

Ph.D. Student in Biology Wins National Fellowship (posted 05-09-2019)#

Congratulations to Julia Zeh for receiving the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. A Ph.D. student in the biology department, she will use the prestigious three-year fellowship to support her graduate research in the Parks Lab in ecology and evolution of acoustic signaling. “The NDSEG is one of the most competitive national fellowships for Ph.D. students,” says Associate Professor Susan Parks. “It’s a huge honor.”

Anthropology Professor to Receive Graduate Teaching Award (posted 05-08-2019)#

Deborah Pellow, professor of anthropology in A&S and Maxwell, is this year’s recipient of the William Wasserstrom Prize for the Teaching of Graduate Students. Known for her globetrotting research into ethnicity, feminism and proxemics (i.e., the interrelationship of physical and social space), she is a sought-after teacher and advisor. “Her decades of dedicated service to and care for doctoral education are richly deserved,” says Distinguished Professor Robert Rubenstein. Pellow will be honored at the Graduate School Doctoral Hooding Ceremony on May 10.

Farhana Sultana

Professor Wins National Geography Award (posted 05-07-2019)#

Farhana Sultana, associate professor of geography in A&S and Maxwell, is the 2019 recipient of the Glenda Laws Award from the American Association of Geographers. Recognized for her contributions to geographic research into social issues, she studies colonialism, institutional racism and related concerns. A recent project of hers has involved the vocal and visible problems of mental health in academia.

Karen DeVose

College Advisor to Deliver Commencement Speech at GMercyU (posted 05-07-2019)#

Karen DeVose, assistant director of advising, is this year’s commencement speaker at Philadelphia's Gwynedd Mercy University, where she also is earning a doctorate in educational leadership. “My speech is about the academic journey of a first-generation, underrepresented minority student,” DeVose says. Her doctoral study concerns the impact of First-Year Experience programs on underrepresented populations at predominately white institutions. Congratulations, Karen!      

Susan L. Smith

Arts and Reconciliation (posted 05-07-2019)#

Susan L. Smith ’60, director of The Kreisau Project in Worcester, Massachusetts, believes in the healing power of theater. Featuring two plays by her late husband, Marc, the project has toured North America and Europe, in collaboration with various Holocaust educational organizations, for nearly two decades. Their son, Joe ’94, also is involved. "We pursue reconciliation among Germans, Jews and Poles and the transmission of memory through the arts," she says. 

Laurence Nafie

Professor Lauded for Work in Biophysical Chemistry (posted 05-07-2019)#

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Laurence Nafie is this year’s winner of the Chirality Medal from the Italian Chemical Society. Named for the geometric property of select molecules and ions, the Chirality recognizes Nafie’s contributions to vibrational optical activity, a tool used to study molecular structures and interactions. Nafie also is the newly appointed board chair of BrightSpec, a privately held life-science instrumentation company.

Alicia Rios

Syracuse Shines at Latin American Studies Conference (posted 05-03-2019)#

Four M.A. students in Spanish recently attended the 39th annual Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies at Stony Brook University. The quartet not only presented papers at the conference (whose theme was "Borders & Boundaries: New Latin American Realities”), but also participated in an all-Spanish panel discussion. "The panel grew out of a graduate seminar I taught last fall on the national romances of Latin America," says Associate Professor Alicia Ríos (pictured). “The Graduate School financed the whole trip."

Sheldon Stone holding prize

Physicist Wins National Prize  (posted 05-03-2019)#

Distinguished Professor Sheldon Stone (right of presenter) is the 2019 recipient of the W.K.H. Panofksy Prize in Experimental Particle Physics from the American Physical Society (APS). The $10,000 prize is the latest in a series of accolades for the experimental physicist, who recently made headlines for his groundbreaking work into the behavior of matter and antimatter. An APS Fellow, Stone oversees the University’s High-Energy Physics Group.

Cristina Marchetti

Professor Emerita Elected to National Academy (posted 05-03-2019)#

Professor Emerita M. Cristina Marchetti has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, in recognition of her original research into soft and living matter. The theoretical physicist is part of a 100-person cohort, 40 percent of whom are women—the most elected in any one year to date. In March, Marchetti was awarded the Leo P. Kadanoff Prize from the American Physical Society (APS), where she is a Fellow and an editor of Physical Review X. The former Kenan and Distinguished Professor also is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

plastic spoon and knife

The Future Is Plastics (posted 05-02-2019)#

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) and the Department of Chemistry are teaming up for the Syracuse Chemistry of Artifacts Project (SCOAP). Using a non-destructive analysis technique called raman spectroscopy, members of SCOAP will study the chemical composition of objects from SCRC’s Plastics Artifacts Collection. “SCOAP is an outstanding example of applying rigorous analytical chemistry techniques to a real-world scenario," says Chemistry Professor Timothy Korter, adding that such techniques bolster the collection's conservation, preservation, and curation efforts. 

Student lays rose on Remembrance Wall

University Announces 2019-20 Remembrance Scholars (posted 05-02-2019)#

The College of Arts and Sciences accounts for more than half of the 2019-20 Remembrance Scholars. Chosen during their junior year, the 35 scholars are a tribute to—and means of remembering—the 35 students killed in the Dec. 21, 1988, bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Each Remembrance Scholar receives a $5,000 award on the basis of scholarship, leadership and community service.

Courtney Carr

AAS Lauds Student Research (posted 05-02-2019)#

The Department of African American Studies (AAS) has recognized two emerging scholars. Courtney Carr (pictured), a master’s student in Pan African studies, is the 2019 recipient of the Carol Mills Young Study Abroad Scholarship. Carr will use the scholarship, awarded by the College Language Association, to study female genital mutilation in Tanzania. Jo Johnson, an AAS major, has won an Undergraduate Research and Creative Works Grant (URCW). Recently established by Syracuse's Office of Research, the URCW Program fosters and supports diverse undergraduate engagement in faculty-guided scholarly research and creative inquiry. 

Zebrafish Conference Draws Students, Faculty  (posted 05-02-2019)#

Nearly 70 people from 12 different institutions attended the third annual CNY Zebrafish Conference at Syracuse University. The April 27th event drew graduate students, undergraduates and faculty from as far away as Canada for a program of talks and poster presentations. Meredith Professor Katharine (Kate) Lewis hosted the conference, as well as co-organized it with Jeff Amack, associate professor of cell and developmental biology at SUNY Upstate Medical University, and Jason Meyers, associate professor of biology and neuroscience at Colgate University. “This research increases our knowledge of a wide range of important biological processes, and can be used to develop more effective treatments for human diseases,” she says.

Harvey Teres

Conversations about Beauty (posted 04-30-2019)#

Conversations about Beauty with Ordinary Americans: Somebody Loves Us All” (Common Ground Research Networks, 2019) is the latest book by Harvey Teres, Dean's Professor for the Public Humanities. This unique oral history contains interviews with 16 people, including a waitress, an exotic dancer, a choir director and several store owners and store clerks. “Some responses are moral or political in nature, others are religious or spiritual. It is a territory of human experience that remains uncharted, even by the media and the academy,” Teres says.

M. Lisa Manning

University Unveils New Research Institute (posted 04-30-2019)#

M. Lisa Manning, associate professor of physics, is the new founding director of BioInspired Syracuse: Institute for Material and Living Systems. One of seven multidisciplinary research clusters on campus, the institute will support research into complex biological systems, and will develop and design programmable smart materials to address global challenges in health, medicine and materials innovation. Manning and Associate Director Dacheng Ren will oversee the merger of the University’s soft and living matter program and the Syracuse Biomaterials Institute into the BioInspired Institute over the next two years.

Yongna Lei

Graduating Senior Wins Slepecky Prize (posted 04-30-2019)#

Yongna Lei, a senior majoring in biochemistry, is this year's recipient of the Norma Slepecky Undergraduate Research Prize. Awarded by Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) in the Office of Academic Affairs, the prize enables Lei to remain on campus after graduation to complete her research into Ubiquilin-2, a protein associated with the pathology of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The University Scholar also plans to apply to graduate programs in cell biology, neuroscience and molecular genetics.

Rainie Oet

M.F.A. Candidate Sweeps Poetry Book Competition (posted 04-25-2019)#

“Porcupine in Freefall” by Rainie Oet (shown here), an M.F.A. candidate in creative writing, is the 2019 winner of the Bright Hill 25th annual Full-Length Poetry Book Competition. Due out this summer, the collection contains poems from a chapbook selected by fellow M.F.A. student Will Georges, who died in April at age 24. Oet is the author of two other forthcoming poetry collections and eight chapbooks, including “With Porcupine,” the 2016 winner of the Ruby Irene Poetry Chapbook Prize from Arcadia Magazine.

In the News (posted 04-24-2019)#

Members of A&S have recently garnered national and international coverage for their research and commentary. TIME, CNN and Science magazine are a few of the dozens of media outlets that, since March, have featured our faculty.

Tim Green

A&S Leads Fight Against ALS (posted 04-24-2019)#

Members of A&S are leading the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. They include Tim Green ’86, L’94 (shown here), a former NFL player, author and commentator, who recently announced his diagnosis on “60 Minutes”; Carlos Castaneda, assistant professor of biology and chemistry, who is overseeing two research projects that could lead to new treatments for ALS and other neurological disorders; and Elizabeth Krisanda ’86 and Monica Shworles ’05, executive director and regional development manager, respectively, of the Upstate New York Chapter of the ALS Association.


And the Winner Is ...  (posted 04-24-2019)#

A&S students, faculty and alumni are walking off with some of the University's biggest awards. From Tim Green '86, L'94 receiving The Chancellor's Medal, to Anthropology Professor Hans Buechler marking 50 years of service, to junior writing major Amelia Lefevre being part of the inaugural cohort of SOURCE awardees, members of A&S are renowned for their commitment to teaching, research, creativity and service. 

Jane Pascar

Ph.D. Student Wins NSF Fellowship (posted 04-24-2019)#

Jane Pascar, a Ph.D. student in biology, is a 2019 recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Based in Syracuse's Center for Reproductive Evolution, she will use the fellowship to analyze microbial sequencing data from the world’s deadliest insect: the mosquito. “I hope to contribute to more effective preventative methods to help stop the spread of dangerous diseases, such as malaria,” says Pascar, one of three such Fellows from the University. Julia Giannini, a graduate student in physics, earned honorable mention.

Jason Wiles

Dear Science and Religion: We Need to Talk (posted 04-23-2019)#

Biology professor Jason Wiles is part of The Clergy Letter Project, a national organization supporting an interfaith dialogue on science and religion. In recent weeks, he has talked to various outlets, including The Humanist and SparkDialog, about the importance of teaching and learning biological evolution. “In matters where various traditions are in dialogue, humanist voices must be represented,” says Wiles, also a chaplain and celebrant of The Humanist Society. Since its inception in 2004, The Clergy Letter Project has grown to include more than a thousand scientists and approximately 16,300 clergy from different faiths.

Casarae Gibson

Professor Named Lender Center Fellow (posted 04-23-2019)#

Casarae Gibson, assistant professor of African American studies, is the inaugural Lender Faculty Fellow of the Lender Center for Social Justice. She will use the two-year fellowship to explore the impact of social media on social justice trends. The new multidisciplinary center is named for Marvin Lender ’63, an A&S alumnus and a Life Trustee member of the Syracuse University Board of Trustees, and his wife, Helaine (Gold) ’65.

Ariel Chu

Creative Writing Student Wins Soros Fellowship (posted 04-12-2019)#

Ariel Chu, a student in the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing, is a 2019 recipient of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. She will use the prestigious fellowship to complete work on a novel about intergenerational family trauma. “It gives me more time to spend on my projects and to carve out more inclusive spaces in academia,” says the Taiwanese American writer, who also teaches writing and rhetoric in A&S. Chu joins 29 other new Soros Fellows, selected from more than 1,750 candidates.

Kate Lewis

Biologist Awarded Meredith Professorship (posted 04-12-2019)#

Congratulations to Biology Professor Katharine (Kate) Lewis, a recipient of the 2019-22 Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorship for Teaching Excellence. For her Meredith Project, Lewis will measure the impact of post-exam reflection tools on student learning outcomes. She is director of the Integrated Learning Major in Neuroscience and faculty co-director of the Women in Science and Engineering program.

Tessa Murphy

A&S Dominates Meredith Teaching Awards (posted 04-12-2019)#

All but two of this year's Meredith Teaching Recognition awardees are from A&S. They are Sarah Fuchs (art & music histories); Shannon Houck (psychology); Robin Jones G’02, G’12 (neuroscience/biology); Christa Kelleher (Earth sciences); and Tessa Murphy (history). Kelleher and Murphy (shown here) also are part of Engineering & Computer Science and the Maxwell School, respectively. The award recognizes the accomplishments of a non-tenured faculty member.

Judy Zelisko

Manufacturing Institute Honors A&S Alumna (posted 04-12-2019)#

Judith P. Zelisko ’72, a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board, is a 2019 recipient of the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award from the Manufacturing Institute. The Lake Forest, Illinois, resident heads up Brunswick’s Corporate Tax Department, which is responsible for worldwide tax planning and U.S. tax compliance. Brunswick is a market leader in the marine, fitness and billiards industries.

Martin Luther King Jr.

AAS to Mark 50th Anniversary of Black Studies Movement (posted 04-05-2019)#

The Department of African American Studies (AAS) marks the 50th anniversary of the Black Studies movement with The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Public Affairs Lecture on Monday, April 15, from 5:30-7:15 p.m. in Watson Theater. Free and open to the public, the event features panelists Carol Henderson (University of Delaware), Jared Ball (Morgan State University) and Dana Williams (Howard University).

AAS also is behind the inaugural Digital Humanities Research Symposium on Wednesday, April 24, from 4-6 p.m. in 304 Schine. The program highlights student scholarship in AAS, English, and art and music histories.

Wildebeest on the Serengeti

African Ecosystem Endangered, Biologist Warns (posted 04-01-2019)#

Biology Professor Mark Ritchie is part of an international study of the effects of human activity on Africa’s Serengeti-Mara ecosystem—the largest, most protected on Earth. Drawing on more than 40 years of data, he has observed a 400-percent increase in the human population in some boundary areas and up to a 75-percent drop in larger wildlife species populations, particularly on the Kenyan side. “Keeping people out of an area to protect biodiversity is not enough. We need to address human activities and conservation outside the reserves, as well,” says Ritchie, co-author of an article on the subject in the journal Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2019).

Big Bang explosion

Pushing the Boundaries of Physics (posted 03-28-2019)#

Two high-energy physics faculty members have made headlines with infinitesimal particles. Distinguished Professor Sheldon Stone has confirmed that matter and antimatter behave differently, possibly explaining why the Big Bang produced matter, not just a burst of energy. Professor Tomasz Skwarnicki has discovered properties of particles called pentaquarks that could help us understand structures such as ultra-dense stars. Both sets of findings involve the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, and are supported by the National Science Foundation.

Photo of Nancy MacLean

Origins of Radical Right  (posted 03-22-2019)#

Join award-winning author Nancy MacLean as she speaks on the history and impact of the radical right on American society. Her book, Democracy in Chains, has won several awards and has also been named “the most valuable book” of the year by Nation Magazine. The event is free and open to the public.

hawks on Lyman Hall

Live Cam to Capture Hawk Eggs Hatching on Campus (posted 03-14-2019)#

If you are among the thousands of followers of the University’s red-tailed hawk family, you will have a better bird’s-eye view of them, thanks to a new high-definition, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera system on Lyman Hall. Anne Marie Patti Higgins ’76, G’90 has donated the cameras in memory of her husband, Thomas Higgins L’67, a Syracuse City Court judge and an avid birdwatcher. "I anticipate a clutch of eggs within the next week or two," she says. Click on the University’s red-tailed hawk nest cam to view the family’s activities in real time, including flights to and from their nests.  

Elizabeth Elton and Katherine Rock-Vo

Syracuse Shines at Applied Linguistics Conference (posted 03-13-2019)#

Elizabeth Elton '18 (far left) and Katherine Rock-Vo were among a group of M.A. students in linguistic studies, along with a member of the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Language Teaching program, invited to present their research at the Applied Linguistics Winter Conference at Binghamton University. “Our students showed that linguistics-infused research around technology and media is an integral part of language teaching and learning,” says Amanda Brown, associate professor of linguistics in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics. Two M.A. students also presented their findings at the regional workshop of the Language Educators of Central New York.

Scott Freeney

A&S Adviser to be Inducted into Athens Athletic Hall of Fame (posted 03-12-2019)#

Congratulations to Scott Freeney ’97 on his induction into the Athens (Ga.) Athletic Hall of Fame. A four-year letter winner and starter at linebacker and defensive tackle, he helped lead Syracuse football to victory in the Fiesta Bowl (1992), the Gator Bowl (1996) and the Liberty Bowl (1996). Today, the Athens native brings that same winning mentality to academic and career advising in A&S. “Scott’s extraordinary career as a student athlete, followed by his professional success, is inspiring to all students,” says Steve Schaffling, assistant dean of student success.

Sally Cornelison

Florence Graduate Program Awarded Multi-Year Grant (posted 03-08-2019)#

The Samuel H. Kress Foundation, a supporter of the Florence Graduate Program in Italian Renaissance Art since 2011, has awarded the distinguished program its first multi-year grant, totaling $125,000. "The five-year award aids recruiting by supporting two M.A. students each year with Kress-Florence Legacy Fellowships," says Professor Sally Cornelison G'89 (shown here), the program's director and the grant's principal investigator. "Kress' support helps defray the cost of traveling to and from Italy, as well as living there." Founded in 1964, the Florence Graduate Program is uniquely structured around three intensive terms of study: the first in Syracuse and the second two in Florence.

Jessica MacDonald

Biologist Awarded Grants to Study Rett Syndrome (posted 02-27-2019)#

Assistant Professor Jessica MacDonald has received two grant awards supporting her ongoing research into Rett Syndrome—a severe, progressive neurodevelopmental disorder, for which there is no cure nor effective treatment. "Rett is caused by genetic mutations in the brain," she says. "The MacDonald Lab is interested in the role vitamin D might play in reducing the symptoms of this disorder, and in understanding the underlying mechanisms." MacDonald's research is jointly funded by a five-year grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and a two-year grant from (a.k.a. The International Rett Syndrome Foundation). 

Student, Alumna Study Abroad at SEA (posted 02-24-2019)#

Kathryn Spencer ’20, a dual major in chemistry and forensic science, and Lindsay Moon ’18, an Earth sciences alumna, spent last fall sailing the world’s oceans aboard tall ships. As participants of the Sea Education Association (SEA), Spencer sailed along the New Zealand coast, exploring the environmental and cultural influences on its islands. Moon traveled in the Caribbean, studying human impact on coral reef ecosystems. Shown here is Spencer's research vessel, the SSV Robert C. Seamans. 

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Universal Pictures Options Faculty Novel  (posted 02-24-2019)#

Universal has optioned rights to the title story in “Friday Black” (Mariner Books, 2018) by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah G’16, a graduate of Syracuse’s top-ranked M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing, who teaches English and creative writing to University undergraduates. The New York Times bestseller, which explores themes of racism, violence and consumerism, has drawn comparisons to works by Ralph Ellison, Kurt Vonnegut and Anton Chekov. (Photo courtesy of Limitless Imprint Entertainment.)

Theo Cateforis

Professor Elected President of Popular Music Society (posted 02-24-2019)#

Theo Cateforis, associate professor of music history and cultures, is the new president of the U.S. branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. A specialist in contemporary American music, he also is author of “The Rock History Reader” (Routledge), whose third edition came out in January 2019.

Ph.D. Candidate Named Harvard Junior Fellow (posted 02-24-2019)#

Suraj Shankar, a Ph.D. candidate in physics, has accepted a Junior Fellowship from Harvard University’s Society of Fellows. Upon graduating in May, he may be Syracuse’s first alumnus to join the prestigious society, entitling him to lifetime membership. Only one or two physicists become Junior Fellows each year—five have won The Nobel Prize in Physics. Shankar’s doctoral advisor is Professor M. Cristina Marchetti.

Philosopher Awarded Harvard Fellowship (posted 02-24-2019)#

Christopher Noble, assistant professor of philosophy, is the recipient of a fellowship from Harvard's Loeb Classical Library Foundation for 2019-20. A specialist in ancient philosophy, he will use the award to work on a book about emotions and desires in Neoplatonism, a school of philosophical and religious thought rooted in the metaphysical teachings of Plato and Aristotle.

Emily Baker and Sam Caldwell

Hydrologists Publish Paper in Environmental Science Journal (posted 02-21-2019)#

The U.S. Geological Survey's Sam Caldwell G'18 and Ph.D. student Emily Baker (both shown here) use drone and infrared camera technology to understand the impact of storm water on creek-water temperatures. They, along with Earth Sciences Professors Christa Kelleher and Laura Lautz, have published their latest findings in Science of the Total Environment (Elsevier, 2019). 

Dalton Stevens

Student to Co-Author Paper in Medical Journal (posted 02-20-2019)#

Dalton Stevens G’17, a Ph.D. student in sociology, is the co-author of a forthcoming paper in British Medical Journal Open (BMJ, 2019), an online-only, open-access general medical journal. “The paper details the way the death certificate certification process hides specific causes of death for populations with developmental disability,” Stevens says. His co-authors are Scott Landes and Margaret Turk, professors at Syracuse and SUNY Upstate Medical University, respectively.

Jason Wiles

Professor Argues for Evolution Education Research (posted 02-20-2019)#

Jason R. Wiles (shown here), associate professor of biology, is the senior author of a paper in Nature Ecology and Evolution (Springer Nature, 2019). "We discuss the main factors associated with acceptance of evolution, and chart a path forward for evolution education research," says Wiles, adding that the paper's first author is Ryan Dunk, a Ph.D. candidate in his lab. 

David Kellen

Professor Earns Early-Career Award (posted 02-20-2019)#

David Kellen, assistant professor of psychology, is the recipient of the William K. Estes Early Career Award from the Society for Mathematical Psychology. Kellen uses mathematical concepts and language to explain mental processes, such as memory, perception and learning. 

High school students in lab

High School Students to Get Hands-on Biology Training in A&S (posted 02-20-2019)#

Students from the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central and Solvay High School will visit campus on March 6 and 20, respectively, for High School Biology Apprenticeship Days. Organized by Biology Professor Kate Lewis with support from the National Science Foundation, this annual program enables area teenagers to tour the Life Sciences Complex, participate in biology research and interact with A&S students and faculty.

Greg Hoke

Geologist Awarded Fulbright Scholarship (posted 02-20-2019)#

Gregory Hoke, associate professor and associate chair of Earth sciences, is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship at the University of Wroclaw in western Poland. As a member of the Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, he will spend nine months teaching and conducting research abroad. The award supports a study quantifying the amount and rates of glacial erosion in the Carpathian and Sudets mountains in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Jonathan Dee

Carver Series Continues with Jonathan Dee Feb. 27 (posted 02-19-2019)#

The Raymond Carver Reading Series continues with Jonathan Dee on Wednesday, Feb. 27. An assistant professor in Syracuse's top-ranked M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing, Dee is the author of six novels, including "The Locals" (Random House, 2017). The Pulitzer Prize finalist will participate in a Q&A session from 3:45-4:30 p.m. and then read some of his original work from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Both events take place in Gifford Auditorium of Huntington Beard Crouse Hall, and are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Sarah Harwell G'05, associate director of the M.F.A. program, at 315.443.2174 or (Photo by Jessica Marx)

Joeann Salvati

Psychology Alumna to Co-Author Article (posted 02-19-2019)#

Joeann Salvati '18 is the co-author of a forthcoming article with Shannon Houck, assistant teaching professor of psychology, in the "Journal of Applied Security Research" (Taylor & Francis, 2019). A pre-doctoral research fellow in Yale's Fundamentals of the Adolescent Brain Lab, Salvati studies the underlying mechanisms of deviant behavior. The psychology and forensic science dual major previously worked in Syracuse's Moral and Political Decision-Making Lab and Center for Autism Research and Electrophysiology.

Sally Temple

Neuroscience Research Day Accepting Poster Submissions (posted 02-19-2019)#

The Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program is accepting poster submissions for its fifth annual Neuroscience Research Day, taking place Friday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center (801 University Ave.) In addition to presentations by members of the College of Arts and Sciences, the program includes a keynote address by Sally Temple (shown here), scientific director of the Neural Stem Cell Institute. 

Spencer Stultz

CFAC Presents "A Time for Joy and a Time for Sorrow" (posted 02-18-2019)#

The Community Folk Art Center is presenting a solo show by Spencer Stultz '17, a master's candidate in Pan African studies, titled "A Time for Joy and a Time for Sorrow." The exhibit, which runs from Feb. 22-March 23, utilizes portraiture to explore notions of identity, spirituality and experience. 

Leonid Kovalev

Mathematician Awarded NSF Grant (posted 02-07-2019)#

Leonid Kovalev, professor of mathematics, is the recipient of a three-year grant award from the National Science Foundation, supporting ongoing research into metric spaces. “The notion of distance, or dissimilarity of objects, is ubiquitous in geometry, data analysis, image and signal processing, and other disciplines,” says Kovalev, adding that his work draws on the mathematical analysis and differential geometry of Rudolf Lipschitz, a 19th-century, German mathematician. “My project exposes graduate and undergraduate students to these concepts and associated research problems.”