Web Exclusives: Features

News from other Ivy League institutions, and Stanford.

Posted October 21, 2002


Paul S. Phillips, Gerald Shapiro, and Todd Winkler, all members of the music department at Brown, have been honored with 2002-03 ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Awards. The award winners are chosen by an independent panel, who evaluates the “unique prestige value” of each writer’s original compositions, as well as their (most) recent performances.

William H. Twaddell, Brown ’63, received the William Rogers Award (the Brown Alumni Association's highest honor) at the 19th annual Alumni Recognition Ceremony. The award, established in 1984, is named after the first graduate of Brown, who went on to serve as vice president of the Society for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery and also, the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons. The Rogers Award is given to an alumnus (alumna) who "exemplifies the charge of the Brown Charter to live a life of usefulness and reputation."

Ruth Adler Ben Yehuda, a senior lecturer in the Program of Judaic Studies at Brown, has been asked to become a member of the Hebrew team of the newly created National Middle East Language Resource Center. Its creation was recently announced by the U.S. Department of Education, who claims it will be “the first Title VI Language Resource Center to focus solely on the languages of the Middle East.” The center’s headquarters will be at Brigham Young University.

This year, Brown has introduced a small group of freshman seminars in order to "give incoming students an immediate opportunity for an intimate learning experience." Each seminar is limited to only 20 students, with a total of almost 24 seminars. The project is part of President Simmons's Initiative for Academic Enrichment; students and faculty who work in the seminars will be asked for feedback at the end of the year. Examples of seminar topics include an English course entitled "The Problems of Women's Writing" and a sociology seminar that asks "Who Am I?" Seminar assignments were decided by a lottery system for incoming freshmen.

Smallpox exhibit: "Smallpox in the Americas, 1492 to 1815: Contagion and Controversy," is the name of an exhibit at the John Carter Brown Library on the history of smallpox. The show runs through January 15, 2003.

New appointments: Karen Newman, a Brown professor of comparative literature and English, has been named dean of Brown's Graduate School. Also, Andries van Dam, the Thomas J. Watson Jr. University Professor of Technology and Education and professor of computer science at Brown has been named vice president of research. Finally, Elizabeth Huidekoper, who currently works at Harvard as vice president of finance, has been named executive vice president for finance and administration at Brown.

Team to build compact warning system for anthrax, other bioagents: A Brown-led team of investigators has received $8.4 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to build a small laser-based bioagent warning system for use in buildings or homes or for troops to carry in their backpacks in the field.


Kristine M. Gebbie, RN, Dr.PH, the director of Columbia’s School of Nursing’s Center for Health Policy, (with the aid of a team working under her) has recently published “Bioterrorism and Emergency Readiness: Competencies for all Public Health Workers,” after spending two years collecting research in the field. The project was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine.

New services have been installed in the Columbia University libraries, including "book request and delivery service, virtual reference service, bibliographic software, and wireless reading rooms." Columbia has the nation's eight largest library system, including 7.5 million books and almost 50,000 serials.

Marie Regan, a recent graduate of Columbia University, wrote and directed the short film Traveler while taking classes at the university’s School of Arts. This past August, her film, which details the story of a 92-year-old woman’s frustration when her driver’s license is taken away, won first place at the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films in the category of student films under 15 minutes in length. Traveler also qualified for next year’s Oscar competition as a short film. Other award winning film students from Columbia include Patricia Riggen ’03 and Sergio Umansky ’03.

Million-dollar grant: Professor of biological sciences and codirector of the doctoral subcommittee in neurobiology and behavior at Columbia, Darcy Kelley, has been awarded one million dollars of grant money in order to "bring creativity into the lab." She is one of 20 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professors.


Special counseling services are being offered at Cornell after a sophomore student, Scott J. Paavola, died unexpectedly at the house of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, of which he was a member. The Police Department, after conducting an investigation into the matter, released a statement: “A forensic post mortem examination…has found…Paavola’s cause of death to be a medical condition associated with an enlarged heart”. Cornell United Religious Work is planning a memorial service.

Both the Cornell Police and the Tompkins County Sheriff's Office are searching for a graduate student reported missing from Cornell. Ritesh S. Shetty was reported missing by his housemates on September 26. Shetty is originally from India, and has been studying chemical engineering at Cornell since 1999.

Cathy Enz, a professor at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell, with Masako Taylor, a Ph.D. candidate at the school, have found in a recently published study, that hotels situated near airports offer the greatest amount of security features. Resorts, however, scored low in the categories of physical safety and security features and motels had the lowest safety/security scores. The study can be found at: http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/chr

Paul Ginsparg, professor of physics and computing and information science at Cornell, has been named a 2002 fellow of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Ginsparg is well known in his field for creating "an online system for distributing scientific research results — known by scientists around the world as "arXiv.org." He has also made "substantial contributions in quantum filed theory, string theory, conformal field theory and quantum gravity" in his work as a theoretical physicist. Three Cornell alumni also received the 2002 award: Erik Mueggler, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Sendhil Mullainathan, an associate professor of economics at MIT, and Daniela Rus, associate professor of computer science at Dartmouth.

A Peruvian mummy, normally housed in the Cornell anthropology collections, will appear on television October 7 at 8 p.m. as part of the National Geographic Channel'‚s science program "The Mummy Road." In the past, there has been little information regarding the Cornell Mummy; all that was known was: "It represents a woman wrapped in fine textiles, donated to the university in 1899 by a Peruvian alumnus," however a Cornell undergraduate, Brian Finucane, wanted to learn more. Finucane realized he needed "extensive X-rays to examine the inside of the well-preserved mummy and he enlisted the help of the television show."


Two Dartmouth students, Tom Allason ’02 and David Seidman ’04 were arrested on charges of “mass production of fake identification.” Police allege that the two students produced more than 100 fake drivers’ licenses before being arrested in September. Area vendors have been notified and are on the lookout for I.D.s from California, Florida, and New Mexico.

On October 17, the 10th anniversary of Burke Laboratory, which houses Dartmouth's chemistry department, will be commemorated with a public speech by the former Under Secretary for Technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce, Dr. Mary Good. Dr. Good, president of the American Chemical Society, plans to speak about the relationship between society and chemistry.

At the beginning of the winter quarter, a newly revised student alcohol policy will go into effect on the Dartmouth College Campus. According to Dean of the College James Larimore, "We’re recasting the policy from one that focuses on what is prohibited to a statement that provides students with more helpful information on what is allowed.” Some revisions include online event registration, a list of available places for events, and a clearer version of the Good Samaritan policy.

Dartmouth Associate Professor of Computer Science Daniela Rus is one of 24 MacArthur Fellows named by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She will receive $500,000 throughout the next five years. Rus, founder and director of the Dartmouth Robotics Lab, says "I'm still stunned and incredibly happy to be named a MacArthur Fellow — this award will allow me to pursue something in robotics that is exciting, risky and far out."


The first African American female professor to receive tenure from Harvard, Eileen Jackson Southern, died October 13 in Florida. She was 82. She was known as an expert on Renaissance and African-American music, and came to Harvard in 1974, retiring in 1987. She was awarded a lifetime achievement award from the Society of American Music in 2000.

Adam Dziewonski, the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard, along with a graduate student at the university, has discovered a previously unknown sphere, at the bottom of the earth. The two scholars unearthed the discovery by examining "hundreds of thousands of earthquake waves that passed through the center of the planet in the past 30 years." Dziewonski states, "It may be the oldest fossil left from the formation of the Earth."

Million-dollar grant: Richard M. Losick, a Harvard College professor and Maria Moors Cabot Professor of Biology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, and will receive a one million dollar grant. Losick plans to use his money to "three programs designed to stimulate, and sustain, undergraduate interest in the sciences." One of the programs will aid incoming freshman with little science background through mentoring and research experience, in addition to their normal class lectures. Losick also hopes to pair postdoctoral researchers with undergraduates who are
well advanced in the sciences; he feels this experience will further their interest and challenge them. Finally, Losick would like to also use his grant to "computer animation in the classroom."

2002 Board of Overseers and HAA Directors announced: The president of the Harvard Alumni Association announced the results of the annual election of new members of the Harvard Board of Overseers and the HAA Elected Directors. The results were released at the annual meeting of the association following the University's 351st Commencement. The five newly elected Overseers, in order of their finish, are: Frances D. Fergusson, 18,542; William F. Lee, 16,738; Richard I. Melvoin, 16,555; Jaime Sepulveda, 16,238; and Penny Pritzker, 16,183. The candidate who received the sixth-highest number of votes, 14,422.

University expands wages, benefits: Seven months after a Harvard committee recommended changes to improve wages and working conditions for the University's lowest-paid workers, wages have been raised and a parity policy enacted to ensure that contracted employees receive compensation equivalent to their Harvard counterparts.
These measures implement the core recommendations of the Harvard Committee on Employment and Contracting Policies (HCECP), chaired by Professor Lawrence Katz. The committee, created by former President Neil L. Rudenstine, was charged with studying and making recommendations concerning the situation of Harvard's lowest-paid service workers and suggesting guidelines for contracting out service work. The committee reported its findings and recommendations to Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers in December 2001 — who indicated his intention to adopt the core recommendations and ensure their prompt and effective implementation.

Statement of President Lawrence H. Summers on completion of contract negotiations with service unions

Harvard Business School:

Pearson Hunt, a former Harvard Business School professor, died this past summer at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass. He was “an authority on corporate finance whose research helped shape modern financial management practices.” Hunt was 93 years. He attended Yale, Columbia Law, King’s College at Cambridge University and the Harvard Business School, and came to be known by his students at HBS as “Fearsome Pearson,” due to his challenging presence as a teacher.

Four Harvard Business School alumni, Raymond Gilmartin, Orin Smith, Marjorie Yang, and Egon Zehnder, have received their amla mater's highest honor, the Alumni Achievement Award, at a special reunion weekend presentation on October fourth. The award, founded in 1968, acknowledges graduates who "embody the highest standards of accomplishment and integrity."


The U.S. News and World Report has ranked Penn and Stanford as number one in service learning, tied with Berea College in Kentucky, as well. The ranking was “based on academic and other programs that enhance learning,” and it is the first time this category has been included in U.S. News’ annual report.

Raymond Davis Jr, a research professor at Penn, has received the 2002 Nobel Prize in physics. He shares the award with Masatoshi Koshiba and Riccardo Giacconi. Davis and Koshiba were recognized for their research into fusion reactions at the center of the sun. Earlier in the year, Davis won the 2001 National Medal of Science.

The Annenberg Foundation
has announced that it will give $200 million in endowment funds to the Annenberg Schools at UPENN and USC. UPENN will receive $100 million to spend on its Annenberg School of Communications, which was created in 1958. Penn officials plan to use the money for “student scholarships, faculty chairs, and refurbishing of classrooms.”

A senior at Penn, Dana Hork, organized a program entitled Change for Change, in which students donate loose change to support the American Red Cross‚ September 11 Disaster relief efforts. Within the first month Change for Change had collected $25,000. Her idea is now spreading to other college campuses, with a chapter already established at Amherst College.

Fourth best: The University of Pennsylvania placed fourth in the annual U.S. News and Word Report rankings of colleges and universities. The university was ranked fifth last year and sixth in 2000, yet tied for fourth this year with the California Institute of Technology and Stanford. Also, the undergraduate business program at the university's Wharton School was ranked number one.

East Coast premier of Pictures, Patents, Monkeys, and More...An exhibition all about collecting: The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania opens its new season with the first East Coast showing of the popular exhibition Pictures, Patents, Monkeys, and More...On Collecting. Organized and circulated by Independent Curators International (ICI), the exhibition opens to the public on Wednesday, September 4, 2002 and continues through Sunday, December 15, 2002. http://www.icaphila.org/news/?item=2002-07-20-2


The U.S. News and World Report has ranked Penn and Stanford as numbe-one in service learning, tied with Berea College in Kentucky, as well. The ranking was “based on academic and other programs that enhance learning,” and it is the first time this category has been included in U.S. News’ annual report.

Union workers and students picketed on October 10 outside of the Stanford Hospital in support of "changes they have been advocating to the new union contract currently under negotiation." The students and workers hope to improve conditions for those employed at the hospital; the current contract expires on November fourth.

Research to estimate pesticides' effects on children: Although the accumulation of hazardous chemicals in the body can have harmful effects on development and behavior, determining the amount of toxic exposure in a child is still largely a matter of guesswork. Professor James O. Leckie is developing a scientific way to accurately estimate pesticide exposure among children — especially the sons and daughters of California farmworkers.

Women remember disturbing, emotional images more than men, study shows: Male and female brains are wired differently when it comes to dealing with emotion, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings may help explain why women remember emotional experiences more keenly than men, said John Gabrieli, an associate professor of psychology and a study coauthor.


John B. Fenn, a retired Yale professor and alumnus, has been awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in chemistry. He shared the prize with Kochi Tanaka of Japan and Kurt Wuethrich of Switzerland, all three of whom are honored for their work in “the analytical chemistry of proteins and other large biological molecules.” (Fenn completed his research during his tenure at Yale).

Durland Fish, a professor in the Department and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine has received $1.3 million in grant money to create a training program in diseases such as West Nile virus. Fish, an epidermiologist, received the grant from the Centers for Disease Control.

A recent Yale news release states that the Yale endowment is now valued at 10.5 billion dollars, earning a .7% return in the last fiscal year. Officials were pleased to announce this “modest gain” came during a year in which it was hypothesized that most endowments would “report negative returns”. It is expected that $471 million dollars of endowment money will be spent during the current fiscal year, a 16% increase from last year.

Yale president Richard C. Levin urges end to early application process in admissions. For stories, click below.