Academic Year 2020 - 2021
Note: some media hits marked with an asterisk may be behind a paywall
WIRED — Professor of Communications Adam Klein was quoted in The World Was Primed for Protest Conspiracy Theories.
Poughkeepsie Journal — Professor of Psychology Angela Legg was quoted in Running offers social connection over self-reliance.
ART SPIEL — Professor of Art Barbara Friedman was interviewed for Art Spiel in Artists on Coping: Barbara Friedman.
[VIDEO] BLACK NEWS CHANNEL — Costume Supervisor for Pace Performing Arts Niiamar Felder was interviewed by Ladies First on the state of fashion.
[VIDEO] CBS New York — Professor of Criminal Justice Darrin Porcher was interviewed on CBS New York on police reform.
[PODCAST] Yale Radio — Professor of Art Barbara Friedman was interviewed by Brainard Carey on Yale Radio.
Sportda — Professor of Communications Emilie Zaslow was interviewed about the science behind crooked smiles in Make crooked teeth attractive.
[VIDEO] YouTube — Professor of Art Jillian McDonald was interviewed by Hallwalls Gallery Visual Arts curator John Massier.
Filter news by:
DYSON STUDENTS QUOTED IN MEDIA ON IMPACT OF 9/11
This week, two Dyson students have been quoted in prominent media outlets, reflecting on the impact 9/11 has had on their lives, their families, and their experiences at Pace University.
Manny DaMota, Jr. ’24, Psychology, never met his father, who was killed on 9/11 six months before Manny was born. In an article for NPR, he discusses attending college in such close proximity to Ground Zero and memorializing the legacy of his father: “I just realized that was someone I never met but at the same time was so dear and so important to my life and who I am as a person.”
Jasmine Moayedzadeh Rad ’23, Biology, reflected in the New York Daily News on the impact 9/11 had on her Iranian family – who changed their last name after that day – and on the atmosphere around campus each year on the anniversary: “I know a lot of the professors lost their close friends, and they had a lot of people from Pace pass during that event. So especially that day, it’s so silent in school.”
Eight Dyson Students Named UN Millennium Fellows
Eight Dyson College students have been selected to participate in the prestigious United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network Fellowship Program. In this semester-long global program, students convene with the cohort of fellows from their institution to lead projects that advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – a list of 17 objectives focusing on areas such as social justice, sustainability, equity, and education. While leading projects on their own campuses and in their own communities, students in the program will also collaborate with fellows at peer institutions around the world, creating a global network.
This year, more than 25,000 students applied to be Millennium Fellows, and the nine students from Pace University – including the eight from Dyson – were among just over 2,000 selected. Applicants hailed from more than 2,200 institutions across 153 countries, and Pace was among 121 institutions (just 6 percent) chosen to host a cohort of fellows.
The Dyson College students who were selected for the UN Millennium Fellows Class of 2021 are Sarahlouise Baldwin ’21, Biology, Dylan Katz ’24, Environmental Studies, Alex Kennedy ’22, Sociology/Anthropology, Marina Lopez ’22, Biology, Marisa Medici ’22, Communication Studies, Tasfia Rahim ’23, Economics, Maddy Turunen ’23, History, and Cairna Zimmerman ’23, Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies.
HISTORY PROF DISCUSSES BACKGROUND OF POLIO VACCINE
In a recent Newsday article that compared living through the polio epidemic to enduring the COVID-19 pandemic, History Professor Durahn Taylor, PhD, weighed in on the history of the polio vaccine. “The vaccine trials were a great human experiment,” he said. “If there was vaccine hesitancy then, it was overpowered by a greater fear of polio. Parents didn’t want to feel that their kid got sick or died because they did nothing.” Taylor also noted that there was trust in the vaccine process during the polio epidemic.
Are cotton bags really better for the environment?
In this New York Times article, Professor Melanie DuPuis, environmental studies and science, weighs in on the environmental impact of cotton bags; are they really better for the environment than plastic bags? They are used by retailers and supermarkets to market their brands and imply they are environmentally conscious businesses, but they may not be better than plastic bags due to their water-intensive production. In the article DuPuis says, "Weighing the two materials against each other, 'we end up in an environmental what-about-ism that leaves consumers with the idea that there is no solution.'"
Alumni, Arts and Humanities
Alumna's Artwork is a Conduit for Coping
Chanel Thervil '13, BFA Art, was featured in an article in the Provincetown Independent on how art is a vehicle for discussion and reflection among creatives of color. During the early days of the pandemic, the Haitian-American artist and educator, who interacts images and language in her work, poured her emotions into a series called Quarantine Self-Care, which featured portraits painted from photographs, and was accompanied by words of advice on how to manage the events of 2020. “Everyone has different ways of coping with challenging times,” she said. “When things get hard for me, I pour myself into my art, and it just so happens that my art is my work.”
MCVA Prof Co-authors Article with Student
Assistant Professor of Media, Communications, and Visual Arts Melanie LaRosa had an article she co-authored with Anna Evans ’21, Film and Screen Studies, titled “Film Festivals Adapt to Pandemic with New Formats that Could Stick Around,” published in the Gateway Journalism Review. The article discusses how festivals evolved in 2021 to meet the challenges of remote events, ushering in new ways to engage with audiences, and created opportunities to develop audiences outside of their geographic area.
Profs Publish Study on Role of Polluted Urban Waterways
Assistant Professors Anne Toomey and Monica Palta, Environmental Studies and Science, co-authored an article in Local Environmental: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability about the role of polluted urban waterways as important places for community place-making, and the importance of this in the context of coastal resilience planning. As part of their research, they explored the Coney Island Creek, a heavily polluted body of water in New York City, and found that it provides recreation, sustenance, and social connections for a substantial number of people. The study contributes to a growing literature on values associated with urban spaces, thus adding to knowledge of how to improve current environmental governance strategies in coastal cities around the world, especially in neighborhoods that have been historically marginalized.
Dyson College, Research, Faculty
CRJ Prof Responds to Prison Report
In an article on NJ.com, Professor Kimberly Collica-Cox, criminal justice and security, commented on an investigation into New Jersey’s Edna Mahan Correctional Facility that highlights the mistreatment of the female inmates, the dangers of assault faced by correctional officers, as well as the latter’s assertion that supervisors are not sufficiently protecting them against these assaults. Collica-Cox said, “Officers are assaulted, officers are sometimes stabbed, officers get into altercations and they’re out on job injuries for very long periods of time.”
Psy Prof Quoted on eBook Learning
Assistant Professor of Psychology Brenna Hassinger-Das was quoted in an article in Knowable Magazine on the impact of ebooks on children’s learning. In the publication, she responds to both sides of the discussion – that digital storybooks increase engagement between parent and child, and, conversely, that the format is distracting and hinders focus and understanding, by pointing out the results of recent studies (she is the coauthor of an overview of young children and digital media in the 2020 Annual Review of Developmental Psychology). She highlights consideration of the constantly changing nature of ebooks and the need to keep up with all developments related to such.
Hassinger-Das was also quoted in an article in Greater Good Magazine on how families can reset screen time after the pandemic, and work with their children to create healthier media habits. In recognition of the difficulty in following best practices all the time and utilizing a one-size fits all paradigm, she instead suggests a balanced approach for both parties, in which screen challenges are faced with a generous dose of creativity, patience, and family teamwork.
Dyson College, Award, Students
NEH Grant Received for Seaport Interns
Pace University has received a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment of Humanities to support paid internships at the South Street Seaport Museum, located near the New York City campus. This unique partnership and experiential learning opportunity will support five Pace students who not only will be gaining valuable skills as they learn how a small, dynamic museum is managed, but also assist the Museum as it recovers from the challenges that arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students participating in this program include Clea Matt ’25, Communication Studies; Emily Drachman ’23, Art History; Julia Lee ’22, Art; Kayla Bugeya ’23, Art; and Farhat Kabir ’24, Social Media and Mobile Marketing (Lubin).
Alumna Selected as Aide to Kamala Harris
Opal Vadhan ’15, Communication Studies, has been selected to serve as a personal aide to Vice President Kamala Harris. Previous to this role, Vadhan was an intern in the White House during the Obama Administration, and after graduation from Pace, worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and later as an executive assistant to Clinton and her chief of staff, Huma Abedin. She had recently connected with Pace as a guest speaker in a Communication Studies course, during which she discussed careers in political communication with students.
Student, Faculty, Dyson College
CRJ Students Learn with the Incarcerated
The Department of Criminal Justice and Security and Westchester Department of Correction (WCDOC) joined together to complete a virtual course offering on Crime and Public Policy within the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, in which Pace students learned in conjunction with incarcerated students. It was part of one of the very few Inside-Out programs able to operate nationally during the COVID-19 pandemic, and provided three college credits upon completion to six students from the county jail and eleven Pace students. The writing-enhanced course, which featured the use of innovative tools and secure technology, as well as donated laptops from Pace, was taught by Professor of Criminal Justice Kimberly Collica-Cox in her second year of college programming for the WCDOC.
Student, Dyson College, Award
Pace Honored by Food Bank for NYC
Pace University was recognized by Food Bank for NYC as “Outstanding Dear New York Partner” at its Volunteer Appreciation Celebration on April 28, entitled “From New York with Gratitude: A Volunteer Appreciation Celebration.” Beginning in fall 2020, and at events sponsored by the Center for Community Outreach (CCAR), and independently through Civic Engagement courses, 23 Pace students across all schools created 791 handwritten letters of solidarity that were delivered to Food Bank for NYC clients in West Harlem. On her participation in this initiative, Audrey Booth ’24, Biology, said, “By making cards filled with sentiments of positivity, allyship and support, the Pace community was able to join in community action that created a ripple-effect of hope for those who need it most.” CCAR plans to continue supporting Pace students in engaging with the work of Food Bank for NYC as the city responds to high rates of food insecurity into the future.
Arts and Humanities, Student, Award
Dyson Student Receives Watson Fellowship
Jonathan Gerweck '23, Communication Studies and Language, Culture, and World Trade, has been selected for a prestigious Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship for the class of 2023. The three-year program provides funded paid summer internships, mentoring, and enhanced educational opportunities to New York City undergraduates who demonstrate exceptional promise, outstanding leadership skills and commitment to the common good. In summer 2021, Gerweck will be working remotely as a legal intern and translator for children with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), an organization that provides legal assistance and ensures due process and human rights for migrant families and individuals from Central and South America.
Social and Natural Sciences, Faculty, Award
CRJ Prof Receives Corrections Award
Professor of Criminal Justice and Security Kimberly Collica-Cox, PhD, was honored on April 14, 2021 with the John Howard Award at the Corrections Section of the Annual Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) Conference for significant and sustained contributions to corrections in both her academic work and practice. ACJS is an international association created to promote criminal justice scholarship, education and policy, and the John Howard Award is based on the work of John Howard, a well-known corrections reformer. Collica-Cox, who has worked with corrections populations for twenty-three years and for higher education for seventeen, said, “Howard challenged us to think about penal reform, while serving as an advocate for incarcerated persons. It is quite an honor to receive an award that is given in his recognition. I have devoted my career to correctional work as an academic, practitioner and scholar. I am very passionate about this work and feel very fortunate to be acknowledged for it.”
Social and Natural Sciences, Faculty, Award
Prof of Soc/Ant Awarded Fulbright
Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Amy Foerster, PhD, has received a Fulbright Scholarship to travel to Belgium, where she will conduct research at the Centre d’Etudes de l’Ethnicité et des Migrations, University of Liège, as part of a project to examine municipal and national responses to undocumented/irregular migration. The Fulbright will be a continuation of Foerster’s research, which began in 2019, on the reception of migrants, the undocumented, and the sans-papiers cross-nationally, examining municipal efforts in Belgium, Germany and the United States. Foerster will further investigate public health responses, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, and contextualize migrant reception against shifts in political administrations at both the local and federal levels. As a Fulbright Scholar, she will share knowledge and foster meaningful connections across communities in the US and Belgium.
Art and Humanities, Faculty
MCVA Prof Produces Film on Silence
Associate Professor of Media, Communications, and Visual Arts and Emmy-award winning filmmaker Allen Oren had his documentary, “A Day in the Life of Silence,” premiere on WNYE on March 9, 2021. The 30-minute documentary, which explores the virtues of silence and helps viewers appreciate the quiet life, features no audio and highlights life during the coronavirus quarantine with footage from all over the world. It is available nationally on public television stations in March, so check your local listings for the documentary's show times.
Social and Natural Sciences, Faculty, Research, Award
POL Prof Expands Research on Nuclear Weapons
What are the humanitarian and environmental consequences of nuclear weapons? Associate Professor of Political Science Matthew Bolton, PhD, a noted expert on the topic, recently addressed this question as coeditor of a special section in the peer-reviewed academic journal Global Policy. Bolton, director of the International Disarmament Institute at Pace University, also coauthored a number of the included articles. One, “Case Study of UK and US Test Programs at Kiritimati (Christmas) and Malden Islands, Republic of Kiribati,” developed with Sydney Tisch ’19 ’23, Women’s and Gender Studies, MA (School of Education), describes the impact of nuclear testing on these Pacific Ocean islands.
“In writing this article, we want to help provide an evidence base that can be used in the context of policy decision making in the TPNW [2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons]," Bolton said. "We aim to work in solidarity with people affected by nuclear weapons detonations in the Pacific region and beyond.”
Bolton, along with Department of Peace and Justice Studies Associate Professor Emily Welty, PhD, was instrumental in negotiations of the treaty through the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons ( ICAN ). ICAN was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017, and the treaty entered into force on January 22, 2021.
Learn more about the new research on the International Disarmament Institute's Blog.
Social and Natural Sciences, Faculty, Research
COVID lockdowns and PSY Health
Has the strain of mandatory COVID-19 lockdowns affected your mental health? The psychological toll has been widely discussed in the media, and now, a new analysis from Pace University Associate Professor of Psychology Anthony Mancini, PhD, and Gabriele Prati, a researcher at the Università di Bologna, provides groundbreaking insight that indicates we might be more resilient than we thought.
Social and Natural Science, Faculty, Research
Unlocking the Secrets of Bee Propolis
Propolis, a sticky residue produced by bees and used in the construction of hives, has been recognized for its medicinal properties since ancient times. Today, Pace University Associate Professor of Chemistry Elmer-Rico Mojica, PhD, and his students are working to gain a better understanding of the material.
Social and Natural Science, Faculty, Research
The Impact of Online Dating Service Advertising
In the world of online dating services (ODS), advertising may be the third wheel, according to award-winning new research from Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Aditi Paul, PhD. Her findings, presented recently at the 7th International Communication Management Conference, showed that advertising messages for ODS are standardized globally, not aligning with the values of different cultures. “Consistent exposure to such standardized advertisements can transform people’s dating practices,” Paul said.
Arts and Humanities, Faculty, Student, Research
Survival in Today's Media Market
How can local news organizations, especially digital ventures, ensure survival in today's media market? New research from Department of Media, Communications, and Visual Arts Assistant Professor Mirjana Pantic, PhD, demonstrates that establishing a unique niche is one key strategy.
Arts and Humanities, Faculty, Research
Unearthing Hidden Women’s History
The Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950, has been referred to in the United States as “the forgotten war,” for the limited consideration it has received in comparison to World War I, II, and the Vietnam War. Assistant Professor of History Michelle Chase, PhD, is working to change that, particularly when it comes to an all-but-forgotten protest movement led by a group of women in Cuba.
Arts and Humanities, Faculty, Research, Award
Brooklyn Honors Profs’ Anti-Nuke Work
The New York Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (NYCAN)—founded in part by Associate Professors Matthew Bolton, PhD, and Emily Welty, PhD—has been honored with an award from the Borough of Brooklyn, New York. The commendation recognizes NYCAN as among the “extraordinary organizations and individuals who strive to improve the quality of life for all; and seeking and promoting nonviolent approaches to conflict resolution that will help to make Brooklyn and the world safe and a better place to live, work and raise a family.” It also acknowledges “NYCAN for being a broad, inclusive campaign, focused on mobilizing civil society around the world to support the specific objective of prohibiting and eliminating nuclear weapons.”
Bolton and Welty are well known for their work on this issue. They were instrumental in negotiations of a nuclear weapons ban treaty with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons ( ICAN ), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 . The treaty entered into force on January 22, 2021, and ICAN was also recently recognized by the Borough of Manhattan for the “contributions to the City” from its work “toward eliminating nuclear weapons and averting their catastrophic consequences.”
“Nuclear weapons are a local, not just international issue. As the place where the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb began, New York City has a moral responsibility to end the threat of nuclear weapons,” Welty said. “Recognition from the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn is very meaningful to us, showing that New Yorkers want to end the era of ‘mutually assured destruction.’ NYCAN is championing legislation that will draw attention to this legacy, as well as the ongoing threat nuclear weapons pose to this city.”
Currently, she and Bolton are working with NYCAN to advocate for the divestment of city pension funds from nuclear weapons producing entities and the creation of an advisory committee to examine nuclear disarmament and issues related to recognizing and reaffirming New York city as a nuclear weapons-free zone. More information is available in this Nuclear Ban Treaty Toolkit .
Arts and Humanities, Student, Faculty, Research
Pace Team Aids in Police Reform
When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 203 last spring, following the death of George Floyd, he mandated that all local governments conduct a review of current policing and develop a plan to address issues of racial bias and better support the communities they serve.
The Village of Port Chester recently enlisted the help of Pace University faculty and students to carry out the directive. Department of Public Administration professors Andrew Crosby, PhD, and Gina Scutelnicu, PhD, received an external award of $9,600 to develop a community survey to evaluate public opinions on policing in Port Chester.
Working with MPA students Gregory Rivera ’21, and Kayla Guarino ’21, the survey they developed received more than 900 responses, 82 percent online and 18 percent on paper.
“The data will assist the village [in assessing the current status of the Port Chester Police Department] through the perceptions of the residential and business communities,” said Scutelnicu, who is also department chair. “It provides valuable information on current operations and suggestions for improvement.”
Survey results are now available on the Village of Port Chester website.
“As a person who is passionate about helping to create positive change, being part of a project that will hopefully generate reform for Port Chester is an invaluable experience,” said Rivera.
Faculty, Research, Social and Natural Sciences
Profs Selected as Periclean Faculty Leaders
Assistant Professors Anne Toomey, PhD, and Monica Palta, PhD, in the Department of Environmental Studies and Science, have been selected for the first cohort of the Periclean Faculty Leaders (PFLs) program in STEM and Social Sciences. The program was established last year to support scholars in incorporating civic engagement into their curriculum and empower students to tackle real-world problems. Toomey and Palta will receive funding to coteach a course, expected to be offered this fall, that will bring students and community-based waterfront groups together through the implementation of civic science. "Civic science has great potential both as an empowering force for local communities and as a tool for public engagement and advocacy, as community-based groups gain the capacity to conduct research for the benefit of their own communities,” Toomey said. The PFLs program in STEM and Social Science is supported by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and The Eugene M. Lang Foundation.
Alumni, Arts and Humanities
PPA Alumna Stars in Feature Film
With the release of Judas and the Black Messiah by first-time writer-director Shaka King, Pace Performing Arts alumna Dominique Fishback is shining in the spotlight and grabbing hold of the mic.
The film tells the real-life story of former Black Panther leader Fred Hampton (Academy Award nominee Daniel Kaluuya) and William O’Neal (Lakeith Stanfield), a small-time criminal recruited as an informant in an FBI operation to take down Hampton. Fishback stars as Deborah Johnson (known today as Akua Njeri), Hampton’s fiancée, who was more than eight months pregnant at the violent conclusion of the operation.
Now in the running for a 2021 Oscar nomination, Judas and the Black Messiah premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival (held virtually). In celebrating the moment with Vogue magazine, Fishback, seen last year in Project Power (Netflix), discussed her hope that the film’s themes of protest and standing up against injustice provide inspiration for today’s social justice movements. At Pace, she was a member of the Black Student Union, and later earned rave reviews for her one-woman show Subverted, a portrait of Black identity.
“There’s power in the people. In our collective presence and morality. Self-determination is worth fighting for,” Fishback told the magazine.
The full interview and photos are available at Vogue.com. Judas and the Black Messiah hits theaters and HBO Max on February 12.
Faculty, Research, Social and Natural Sciences
Analysis: COVID lockdowns and PSY Health
Has the stress of mandatory COVID-19 lockdowns affected your mental health? The psychological toll has been widely discussed in the media, and now, a new analysis from Pace University Associate Professor of Psychology Anthony Mancini, PhD, and Gabriele Prati, a researcher at the Università di Bologna, provides groundbreaking insight that indicates we might be more resilient than we thought.
“We found that, in the early stages at least, the effect on mental health symptoms was quite small,” Mancini said. He and Prati analyzed 25 studies involving more than 72,000 participants, and findings showed no statistically significant negative impact on social support, loneliness, general distress, negative affect, and suicide risk among the general population. However, Mancini also notes that the effects showed significant variation across studies, which suggests that the psychological effect of lockdowns may differ depending on factors such as social group or geographical location. This may also be due in-part to the disparate health impact of the pandemic.
The full study, “The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdowns: A Review and Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Studies and Natural Experiment,” has been published in the journal Psychological Medicine.
Student, Research, Social and Natural Sciences
Pace Chemistry Club Wins Top Honor
The Pace Chemistry Club has received the top honor of "Outstanding Student Chapter” by the American Chemical Society for 2019-2020. This represents a second win of this title for the organization, which hosts different activities that help students apply chemistry to the real world, such as guest speaker invitations, tours to local points of scientific interest, and the opportunity to present at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium and participate in National Chemistry Week. David Gonzalez ’21, chapter president, said “I’m always trying to come up with new ways to engage members by doing and creating fun events that would benefit them. This recognition means a lot because it signifies the officers’ and members’ hard work being involved with the club!”
Faculty, Research, Social and Natural Sciences
Psy Prof on Children and YouTube Learning
Assistant Professor of Psychology Brenna Hassinger-Das, PhD, has co-authored research with a colleague from The Ohio State University indicating that very young children prefer to watch YouTube more than phone videos. They found that the children believe YouTube holds greater educational value than either phone or television videos, and the children were marginally less likely to believe that individuals on YouTube are real versus people in a video on a phone. “Understanding YouTube’s potential to encourage learning will help educators and caregivers make informed choices about how to help children become critical consumers of media, as well how to design remote learning environments," Hassinger-Das said. She will continue the work by examining how children actually learn from YouTube, versus how they think they can learn from it. Katherine Aloisi ‘25, PsyD, Maruf Hossain ’20, MA Psychology, and Madeleine Pearce ’19, BA Psychology, also assisted in the research.
Arts and Humanities, Students
Pace Student Addresses UN
United Nations delegates from around the world heard from Pace University student Cindy Kamtchoum ’21 earlier this month, when she delivered a statement on youth and disarmament. Kamtchoum, who is majoring in peace and justice studies and has interned with the Scottish chapter of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, delivered the statement virtually. It was authored primarily by Pace political science students.
“It is really energizing to be a young person speaking in front of seasoned adults and have people praise you for the things that you have said,” Kamtchoum said.
Social and Natural Sciences, Faculty, Award
Communication Association Honors Prof
Pace University Assistant Professor of Communications Melvin Williams, PhD, has received the 2020 Outstanding Journal Article award from the National Communication Association’s (NCA) African-American Communication and Culture Division (AACD) and Black Caucus. Williams’ Journal of Sports Media article titled “Better than Steph Curry and More Profitable Than LeBron James: An Analysis of LaVar Ball's Agenda Building of the Ball Brothers” was coauthored by Matthew Cotton and recognized for its exploration of representations of Black fathers in sports media.
“Historically, media images of Black men have been almost universally derogatory,” Williams said. “Black fathers need to be uplifted in American mass and sports media, and as a result, I remain grateful for the opportunity to do so through this research and the NCA award."
The award will be presented to Williams at an upcoming AACD meeting, to be held virtually.
Art and Humanities, Student
PPA Expresses Gratitude for Good
The Actors Fund, a 501 (c)(3) organization that provides a support safety net to performing arts and entertainment professionals, has received a $1,500 donation from an anonymous donor on behalf of the entire Pace School of Performing Arts community. The donation came about through a social media campaign started when the University went to remote learning this spring. Students, alumni, and friends were encouraged to submit short creative videos showcasing expressions of appreciation for the people, places and things they value. The videos ranged from individual testimonial-style commentaries to a “socially-distanced” flash mob performance, and for each submission the donor pledged a $5 contribution, up to $1,500.
"At a time when we are all abruptly torn away from classes, productions and each other, the campaign gave us a chance to think about and express what we are grateful for,” Pace School of Performing Arts Executive Director Grant Kretchik said. “I was grateful for that.”
Social and Natural Sciences, Art and Humanities, Student, Award
Students Receive Summer Research Awards
Paris Baker '21, an environmental science student, and Kendra Dascano '22, majoring in applied psychology and human relations and management (Lubin School of Business), are recipients of the 2020 Dyson College Summer Research Awards, sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research Experiences. Baker, with Assistant Professor Monica Palta, is studying how New York City’s altered nitrogen cycle has contributed to increased nitrogen pollution in urban waterways. Dascano is working with Assistant Professor Courtney Gosnell to examine the potential importance of capitalization support in times of high stress and trauma, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both students receive a $2,000 stipend and up to $500 for supplies and travel related to their research.
Art and Humanities, Faculty, Award
Professor Awarded to Develop Civic Engagement Course
Associate Professor of English Stephanie Hsu, PhD, was selected for the 2020-21 cohort of the Mellon Periclean Faculty Leadership Program in the Humanities. Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this Project Pericles consortium program was established to foster civic engagement in teaching and learning. Hsu received a $4,000 award toward development of a special section of Book Club, an introductory English course, in partnership with a New York City nonprofit that operates family homeless shelters.Students will learn about writing composition, criticism and pedagogy alongside youth and young adults whose education has been disrupted by housing instability. Part of the course will focus on the concept of antiracism, the active practice of promoting racial tolerance, and the ways in which oppressive forces mutually reinforce issues such as homelessness. “It's an honor to be selected because this program brings attention to the people and schools that are fully exploring what civic engagement means,” Hsu said. “Because civic engagement is required in our core curriculum, Pace students—and faculty—learn with and from our community members, and we can feel the direct pulse of the social and cultural forces that are shaping our democracy today. These core ideals help to develop the leadership skills we all so clearly need.”
Social and Natural Sciences, Faculty
Psy Professor Authors Article on COVID-19 and Mental Health
Associate Professor of Psychology Anthony Mancini, PhD, has authored a commentary in a special COVID-19 issue of Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, a journal publication of the American Psychological Association. In the piece, he discusses the variation in individual responses to the pandemic, and how making universal statements about mental health impact misses this variation. An expert on the effects of trauma, with a focus on resiliency, Mancini says its important to understand the mental health impact of the pandemic on many levels. "The pandemic is also an opportunity to study how a kind of social deprivation affects people, how we respond to it and fill in the gaps, knowledge that can potentially lead to insights into other mental health issues," Mancini said. "Needless to say, we also want to be prepared for future pandemics.”
Pace Pleasantville Designated as a Bee Campus
In spring 2019, the Pace Pleasantville campus became certified as a Bee Campus for its commitment to creating a sustainable habitat for pollinators. The initiative was led by GreenPace and the Dyson College Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, with committee members including Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Science Michael Rubbo, Director of Capital Projects William Carey, Director of Energy and Resiliency Ryan McEnany, and Noah Brennan '21, who gathered the necessary information for the application process. The idea was born out of Rubbo’s interest in pollinator conservation and existing activities by Dyson’s Nature Center, which houses bee hives for demonstration and education, planting pollinator gardens on campus. Future plans include building more gardens so that students can both study them and develop solutions for conservation, creating educational signage, and hosting pollinator-focused events. On the importance of this designation, Rubbo says, “it shows our commitment to creating a sustainable campus that will function both as healthy ecosystem for native plants and animals and as a living laboratory for students.”
Student, Faculty, Award, Dyson College
SOF Inducts New Members, Honors Dean Herrmann
Twenty-three new members, including seventeen students and six faculty, have been inducted into the Society of Fellows (SOF), Dyson College’s premier honors organization. This year’s class is named in honored of Nira Herrmann, Dyson Dean since 2005, and the initiation ceremony was held virtually on May 14. The SOF’s mission is to foster dialogue and scholarship across the fields of the arts and sciences through enriching experiences for students with exceptional academic and artistic abilities. "The SOF brings together people who love learning, who are willing to work hard and think harder to better understand the world, and who are willing to invest in learning about a variety of topics under the overall rubric of ‘the liberal arts,’” said Dean Hermann.