President's Greetings, Spring 2013

Dear students, faculty and staff:

Welcome to Spring Semester 2013 and a happy New Year to all!

I trust that everyone has had a restful and peaceful holiday season; and I am thankful that you return ready to face the rigors of our spring semester, which brings with it, the most exciting part of the academic year: commencement! As we work toward that goal with our students, please know that I am here to assist in any way possible.

I am also delighted to take this opportunity to celebrate a small cross-section of our faculty and staff achievers over the past semester:

Professor Thomas Zlabinger (Performing and Fine Arts) has successfully completed his PhD in Ethnomusicology at the CUNY Graduate Center. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Zlabinger. He is now officially, Thomas Zlabinger, PhD. In addition to this news, Dr. Zlabinger continues take the York College name on the road. This spring he will be the guest conductor of the jazz ensemble of the first NYC High School Music Festival held at Grand Street Campus High School in Brooklyn. In addition to a jazz ensemble, the festival will also host a concert band, a mixed chorus, and an orchestra. This is a joint venture of the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) and the NYC Department of Education (DOE). This is a real honor!

The York College Big Band under his direction will be performing Sunday, February 17th at 3 p.m. at Queensborough Community College as part of Black Stars of the Great White Way.

Dr. Chun-Pin Psu (Business and Finance) has had an article selected in the semi-finalist (top 4) of the best paper award in investments by the Financial Management Association (FMA), entitled "Effectiveness of Applying Time-Varying Copulas in Portfolio Optimization." This paper is co-authored with two of his colleagues, Dr. Chin-Wen Huang at Western Connecticut State University and Dr. Paul Chiou at Central Michigan University. Each year, a significant number of papers are submitted to join its best paper award competitions. As Dr. Psu has reminded us, the award is "very competitive and usually only authors from first tier universities are selected." Kudos to him for putting York on their radar in the company of MIT, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC), and Texas A&M University.

Dr. Donna Chirico (Psychology) was among a select group of international authors and scholars invited to participate in a constructive dialogue exploring the transformation of Italy and Italian culture today. The symposium was sponsored by ILICA, the Italian Language Inter-Cultural Alliance. Its aim was to look at a key issue in the Italian and Italian American global community: What is an Italian identity? On a Different Shore, Defining Italians: Italian Identity in the 3rd Millennium.

Dr. Ian Hansen (Behavioral Sciences) was selected to take part in the CUNY Faculty Fellowship Publication Program for spring 2013. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology also selected Dr. Hansen's symposium "Beyond Liberalism vs. Conservatism: The Contextual and Dynamic Nature of Ideological Construal" for presentation at its annual conference in New Orleans in January 2013.

Dr. Robin Harper (Political Science) won a $15,000 Schusterman Center for Israel Studies summer fellowship that includes study at Brandeis University and a study tour in Israel.

Dr. Debbie Majerovitz (Psychology) presented a paper at the Gerontological Society in San Diego in November; and, her poster has been accepted for the Eastern Psychological Association annual meeting in March done with her student Debora Toussaint.

Dr. Francisco Villegas (Psychology) and Ms. Elizabeth Franco, his mentee, presented a poster "Rat Model of Alzheimer's disease with Measures in Sleep-Wake EEG and Memory Deficits" at the Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists Conference. Ms. Franco was in the Bridges to the Baccalaureate program (NIH) at Queensborough Community College. She is now enrolled at York with hopes of entering the Physician Assistant program.

Dr. Ron Daniels (Behavioral Sciences), will speak at an international conference dedicated to the memory of the late Amilcar Cabral, who gained stature as a leading theoretician and practitioner of anti-colonial revolution during the struggle to liberate Guinea -Bissau and Cape Verde from Portuguese rule. As such, he had a tremendous influence on the Black liberation movement in the U.S. Dr. Daniels's presentation, Cabral in Contemporary Context: "The Struggle Against Our Own Weaknesses," will focus on the contemporary struggle against neo-colonialism; the need for new theories of democratic and revolutionary governance; and, the necessity for moral and ethical Pan Africanist leadership in Africa to fulfill the promise of an improved quality of life for the African masses.

Dr. Laura Beaton (Biology) has published Tolerance of roadside and oldfield populations of Dipsacus fullonum subsp., an article in the Journal of AoB Plants. Dr. Beaton published the article along with Susan A. Dudley.

Dr. Anne Simon (Biology) presented A Drosophila model for studies on Human Autism Spectrum Disorders: Rugose (Neurobeachin) mutants exhibit neuro-developmental disorders, aberrant Locomotion, impaired adult social behaviors and activity patterns; a poster and abstract presentation at an international neuroscience symposium, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Gerard McNeil (Biology) and his mentee, Kirk Haltaufderhyde, a PhD student at Brown University, were crowned Kings of Queens at the Queens Courier Breakfast on Friday, Nov. 15th. They were two among more than a dozen other "Kings" crowned by the publisher, Victoria Schneps. York's Kings were nominated by CUNY First Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson. Dr. McNeil and Mr. Haltaufderhyde were also featured in a terrific cover story in a recent issue of CUNY Matters.

Dr. Andrew Criss and the Biology Department are to be recognized for their work with Miloni and Malvi Thakker, both of the Class of 2011. The sisters were recently accepted into medical school with the support of the City Doctors Scholarship program. The program will help fund the training of the twin scholars as primary care physicians at St. George's University Medical School on the island of Grenada. They will then return to serve as physicians in New York City hospitals.

Ms. Jessica Cherry, assistant director of Athletics, recently completed the yearlong NCAA Pathway Program during which she was partnered with Dr. Chris Howard, President of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia as her mentor. The NCAA Pathway Program is a leadership program for senior-level athletics administrators with goals to become directors of athletics. The program enhances the professional skills of women and ethnic minorities who seek to become directors of athletics, through education, training and mentorship.

I look forward to seeing you all throughout the semester and at the college's public functions like the College Symposium on February 21, the Dean's List reception on March 21, and Undergraduate Research Day on April 18th.

Have a productive semester!