Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

2004 - 2005 News

Berish Rubin  

Dr. Berish Rubin, Professor in the Biological Sciences Department has received a $50,000 grant from the for NYC Dept. of Mental Health & Hygiene to continue his research of Familial Dysautonomia (FD).  FD is a genetic disorder that affects the development and survival of sensory, sympathetic and some parasympathetic neurons. Most forms of FD are caused by a mutation that reduces, but does not eliminate, the production of a gene product termed IKAP. Using nutrigenomic approaches, which involve the study of the impact of nutrition on gene expression, Dr. Rubin has identified foods and nutritional supplements that can enhance the production of the functional IKAP. These substances have been introduced into the diets of those with FDanda significant health benefit has been observed. The current grant award will enable a continuing search for compounds that enhance the production of IKAP in cells derived from those with FD and will allow for an in-depth characterization of the mechanism by which these compounds are mediating their effects.

After an extensive nominating period, Celia Fisher, Marie Doty Professor of Psychology has been confirmed as Chair of the new Environmental Protection Agency Human Studies Review Board. The requirement for EPA to have such this Board was voted into law by Congress this year after several scandals regarding industry research with intentional dosing of pesticides in humans. The role of the Board is to advise the EPA on the science and ethicality of research conducted by industry that has been submitted for EPA review for the approval of new products. Based on the new law the EPA is prohibited from using industry research that was conducted unethically.
Dr. Elizabeth A. Johnson, C.S.J.,Distinguished Professor of Theology, was named the first recipient of the newly instituted Monika K. Hellwig Award, an "Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Intellectual Life."  The award will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), which is a meeting primarily comprised of the presidents of more than 200 Catholic institutions.  Dr. Johnson will give a short acceptance speech pertaining to the current multi-cultural and multi-religious context of society and higher education.  Dr. Johnson is widely regarded for her contributions to Catholic systematic theology from a scholarly feminist perspective.  She has served as a theologian on the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue and on two Vatican-sponsored dialogues, one on science and the other on Christ and the world religions.  She is presently working on a major research project on ecological theology.
Silvana Patriarca Dr. Silvana Patriarca, Professor in the History department, has been awarded a residential fellowship from the National Humanities Center and will spend the current year writing her new book in Research Triangle Park (North Carolina). The book is entitled Italian Vices. The Discourse of National Character from the Risorgimento to the Present. This book will be an examination of the main themes, tropes, and uses of the resilient discourse of character in Italy in order to provide a new reading of Italian patriotism/nationalism as a discursive formation born from the Enlightenment and from the thick web of intellectual and political exchanges between Italians and other Europeans. With this book Dr. Patriarca hopes "to recast the study of modern Italian national identity in light of the most recent theories of nationalism and representation, and to contribute to abettor understanding of contemporary public discourse in Italy."
The Graduate School congratulates three GSAS Ph.D. students of the English department for awards granted to them by the Folger Shakespeare Institute in Washington D.C. Albert Coppola has been awarded a grant-in-aid for a year-long dissertation seminar, "Researching the Archives," directed by David Scott Kastan and Linda Levy Peck. Heather Blatt, has been awarded a grant-in-aid for a semester-long seminar,
"Accessorizing the Renaissance," directed by Joseph Lowenstein. Kathleen Urda has been awarded a grant-in-aid for a weekend workshop, "Early Modern Terrorism? The Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and Its Aftermath," directed by Chris Kyle. All of these seminars will contribute to the development of a dissertation topic or the advancement of an already proposed topic.
Mary Erler Dr. Mary Erler, Professor in the English department,was invited to be a member of the faculty in an NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers. Titled ""The Handwritten Worlds of Early Modern England, " the institute was held in June and July 2005 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. Participants were college and university faculty interested inpresenting for their students "the vibrancy of manuscript culture" in English literary and social history. Dr. Erler has recently learned that her book, Women, Reading, and Piety in Late Medieval England (Cambridge University Press, 2002) is being reprinted in paperback. In February 2005 Dr Erler received the GSAS award for outstanding teaching, service, and research.
MaryPowers2 Dr. Mary Powers, Professor in the Sociology & Anthropology department, and Dr. Joseph Chamie, Director of Research at the Center for Migration Studies, have secured MacArthur Foundation support to host a "Forum on the Report of the Global Commission on International Migration." The Forum will examine the implications and likely impact of the Global Commission's recommendations. It also will discuss critical issues relating to migration and development, including social, economic and cultural causes and consequences. The Forum which was co-sponsored by Fordham and the Center for Migration Studies, took place on October 25th.
Dr. Celia Fisher, Marie Doty Professor of Psychology, was awarded two NIH grants in August and September of 2005. The first, for a project titled, "Mentoring the Responsible Conduct of Research," has as its goal to develop and validate instruments for use in Psychology departments which will examine the role of mentorship and departmental climate on the socialization of graduate students in the responsible conduct of psychological research. The second, for a project titled, "Participant Perspectives on Drug Use/HIV Research Ethics," has as its goal to identify ethical concerns among economically disadvantaged, ethnically diverse illicit street drug users that will inform and enhance drug use and HIV risk research in ways that reflect the values and merit the trust of of participants.
Dr. David A. Burney, Professor in the Biological Sciences department, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship
to work on a book about over a decade of his research results from paleo-ecological investigations on the Hawaiian Island of Kaua'i. Through this project, he hopes to recover the most detailed records yet produced from fossils and artifacts concerning the nature of prehuman environments in Hawaii and how they changed after the arrival of the Polynesians, and later, Europeans. Dr. Burney also serves as the Director of Conservation at the National Tropical Botanical Garden where he coordinates fund-raising, research, and applications for a large staff devoted to saving rare plant and animal species and restoring the threatened environments of the Hawaiian Islands and other tropical areas.
The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has awarded the Center for Ethics Education a three-year, $776,869 grant to partner with Fordham's Office of Student Affairs to develop and test a new Resident Alcohol Prevention Program for freshman living in campus housing at Rose Hill.  The principle investigator for this research is Dr. Celia Fisher, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Ethics Education.  The unique initiative will combine the talents of Fordham researchers, faculty, and administrators and student leaders to reduce freshman drinking by helping students realize the link between their alcohol related decisions and their development as socially responsible adults of personal character.  Based upon the success of this project, universities across the country will be able to adopt Fordham's policies and procedures for their own use.
Dr. Robert J. Penella, Professor in the Classics Department, was invited to participate last May in a conference on the archaeology and rhetorical culture of the city of Gaza in late antiquity at the University of Poitiers, France. The proceedings of this conference will be published this year in Switzerland. He very recently gave a short version of his Poitiers presentation in the United States, titled "Himerius and Choricius on Student Bridegrooms: An Unnoticed Variety of Epithalamium" at a meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. His article "The 'Ambitio' of Livy's Tarquinius Priscus" appeared in this year's first issue of "Classical Quarterly." He has also recently contributed a number of reviews to "Classical World" and "The New England Classical Journal."
Dr. Emily Rosenbaum, Chair of the Sociology and Anthropology department,  and doctoral student Grigoris Argeros have had a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Urban Affairs. This paper is entitled, "Holding the Line: Housing Turnover and the Persistence of Racial/ethnic Segregation in New York City." This paper demonstrates that location in different kinds of NYC neighborhoods affects the occurence and consequences of household mobility during 1991-1999 in ways that can only maintain high levels of racial/ethnic residential segregation. This paper was also one of six finalists for the annual "Best Paper" award given by the Urban Affairs Association.
Dr. Maryanne Kowaleski, Professor in the History Department and Director of Fordham's Center for Medieval Studies, has received a fellowship from the National Humanities Center in North Carolina to complete work on a monograph entitled, "Living from the Sea: An Ethnography of Maritime Communities in Medieval England." This project will draw upon the contributions of anthropology, ethnology, and folklore studies to explore how the marine environment shaped the social processes, economic structure, and the cultural mentality of coastal communities in medieval England. Dr. Kowaleski has also been elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and she will be awarded the Outstanding Service Award from the Centers and Regional Associations of the Medieval Academy.
Kem Crimmins, Ph.D. candidate in the Philosophy Department, is co-organizer of an international conference in Belgium. Crimmins and Herbert DeVriese of the University of Antwerp coordinated a conference entitled, "The Reason of Terror." This conference is part of a larger collaboration between the departments of Fordham and Antwerp called the Philosophical Red Star Line (PRSL) and it plans to alternate its future meetings between New York and Antwerp every one and a half years. The next conference is slated for the fall 2006 semester atFordham. Altogether, six members of the Fordham Philosophy Department will participate. In addition to Kem, these members include faculty member Dr. Michael Baur, Gary Gabor, David Zinn, Anne Ozar, and Daniel Breyer. For more information on the conference, click here.
Dr. Scyatta A. Wallace, alumnus of the Psychology department has been awarded a grant from the Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs (OEMA) at the American Psychological Association, Promoting Psychological Research and Training on Health Disparities Issues program (ProDIGs). This award will provide her with pilot funds to begin development of Project SMART: A University-Community Partnership to Develop a Health Disparities Research Course for High School Students. The curriculum will expose high school students to psychological and behavioral approaches to eliminate health disparities and also to possible behavioral health research careers. The planning will be for one year, after which ProDIGSwill work with recipients to put together a larger grant proposal to implement the project.

Dr. Robert Ross, Professor of the Biological Sciences Department, has recently been awarded a highly competitive NIH grant for research into the “Phenotypic Plasticity in Human Neuroblastoma”. Neuroblastoma is a cancer affecting infants and young children and is ultimately fatal in most patients. This grant is to fund studies investigating the roles of different cell types in the malignancy of this tumor. Dr. Ross’s laboratory has discovered a previously unrecognized cancer stem cell that is present in high frequency in the most aggressive cancers. His group has also discovered one of the mechanisms underlying amplification of the oncogene N-myc, which also signifies rapid tumor growth and poor patient survival. These discoveries are likely to have far-reaching implications for the treatment of this as well as other forms of cancer.

The Graduate School congratulates three GSAS students who have been selected as Fulbright finalists in their respective fields. Meghan Avolio, is a student in the Biological Sciences Department, and her project is entitled, "Identifying Regulars of Transporter Proteins During Mycorrhical Mutualisms." Lesley Cole, a student in the IPED program, will be working on a project pertaining to how the increased border security since the September 11 terrorist attacks has influenced trade between the United States and Canada. Karen Trimnell is in the the English Department, and her project is entitled, "The Business of Romance: Clerks, Knights, and Texts, 1150-1500." Many thanks to Dr.Daryl Tress for her hard work on behalf of these students, and also to the departments who have supported Meghan, Lesley and Karen through this process.
The American Catholic Philosophical Association has publicly announced that it will bestow its highest honor - the Aquinas Medal - upon Dr. Brian Davies, of the Philosophy Department. This Award has a long history of recipients whose scholarship has been of permanent and scholarly value to the field. These include Jacques Maritain, Etienne Gilson, Bernard Lonergan, G.E.M. Anscombe, Peter Geach, Michael Dummett, and John Finnis. The Medal will be presented to Dr. Davies at the American Catholic Philosophical Association's 2005 convention at the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Thomas De Luca, Ph.D., associate professor of Political Science at Fordham University, has been awarded the Thomas Jefferson Distinguished Chair in American Social Studies. The chair is based at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where De Luca will lecture, mentor and teach during the 2006 spring semester. Distinguished Chairs are among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. While in the Netherlands, De Luca will work on a project that examines how American politics produces political, economic and foreign policy decisions, and how those policies are received in the Netherlands.
Dr. George Demacopoulos, assistant professor of theology, traveled to Istanbul with Vatican officials on November 30 to oversee the return of treasured Greek Orthodox relics seized by crusaders 800 years ago. The move is seen by Orthodox Church officials as a historic step toward reconciliation between the two churches, and Demacopoulos played a key role in securing the return of the relics. "My role is only a by-product of Fordham's commitment to the Roman Catholic and Orthodox relationship," said Demacopoulos. "Fordham has historically been a place of cooperation between [the two religions], and this sets up Fordham to be the logical foundation for further improvement."
Dr. Babette Babich of the Philosophy Department recorded a radio interview for a German radio station (a 54-minute program in German on her own work, on Nietzsche, and on politics) with Hans Martin Schonherr Mann (Munich) on December 16, 2004. She, also gave the final two lectures of her Friedrich Nietzsche Fellowship in Weimar: (1) "Eros and Kunst: Nietzsches Kunstler als Schauspieler - Jude - Frau" (12/06/04), with an invitation to reprise this lecture for the Theology Department of the University of Vienna (01/20/05) and (2) "Frohliche Wissenschaft: Musik, Worte, and Amor fati" (12/15/04). Although Prof. Babich has spent the winter in Germany on a Fullbright Senior Fellowship, she will be teaching at Fordham for the Spring 2005 semester. Given that the yearlong Fullbright award continues through July 2005, she will return to Germany periodically to deliver lectures.
Dr. Paul Kantor of the Political Science Department has been awarded the one of the Fullbright Distinguished Chairs for 2005. This award is the John Marshall Chair in Political Science in Hungary at the University of Szeged. His appointment will be for about a half year and will start in the Fall of 2005. There are approximately 30 of these awards in total, only 4 or 5 of which are open to political scientists. Dr. Kantor will lecture in English on topics that he has taught in his courses at Fordham, with a particular emphasis upon his findings in his recent book from Princeton University Press that has won the 2003 Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association.
Dr. John Greco, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy at Fordham University, has been named a Fellow of the Scots Philosophical Club, which is the publisher of Philosophical Quarterly, a leading scholarly journal.Hand a professor from Yale are the only two recipients awarded the prestigious honor celebrating the club’s 100th anniversary. “Professor Greco [received the fellowship] because he has been the foremost exponent of virtue epistemology in the recent literature and is a world-renowned and highly respected philosopher,” said Michael Brady, Ph.D., a professor of philosophy at the University of Stirling in Scotland.
Maria Fracasso, GSAS ’87, currently Chair of the Department of Psychology at Towson University was named Dean of the Honors College beginning January 2005. To learn more about Maria visit Towson’s website.
Joseph Kelly, a Master’s student in the International Political Economy and Development (IPED) program, is a recipient of the post-graduate International Development Fellowship. The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) International Development Fellows Program is intended to give people who are interested in a career in international relief and development an opportunity to increase their overseas experience and gain broad exposure to CRS programs. Mr. Kelly, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame served two years in Peruas a Jesuit Volunteer prior to coming to the IPED Program on an Arrupe Fellowship. While at Fordham he did his Arrupe Summer Field assignment in Brazil with the Mennonites working on various micro credit projects and learning Portuguese. Joseph is a recipient of IPED’s International Peace and Development Travel Scholarship and is on assignment in Brazil. He is currently on the Catholic Relief Services Fellowship, successfully transitioning from the Fordham International Travel Fellowship.
Sr. Elizabeth Johnson of the Theology Department will appear on “CNN Present: The Two Mary’s” on Sunday, December 12 at 8 p.m. ET. “The Two Mary’s” narrated by Sigourney Weaver addresses how the Christian tradition presents Mary Magdalene and Mary of Nazareth and why it does so. In herinterview, Sr. Elizabeth Johnson “discusses all the new feminist research about Mary Magdalene NOT being a prostitute but a pre-eminent disciple, and the new research about Mary of Nazareth being a Jewish peasant woman in a violent society (as compared with the glorification that took place later)”.
Professor James Wilson, of the Sociology and Anthropology Department, is currently working on two research grants funded by the National Institute of Justice. The "Project Greenlight Evaluation" is an impact evaluation of an intensive offender reentry demonstration program delivered to inmates in the last two months before their release from prison. The intervention is an innovative attempt to provide necessary services to facilitate the reintegration of offenders in their return to the community. The second project examines in detail the national social experiment in mass incarceration. The "Fragmentation and Ferment" grant supports a longitudinal examination of changes in state sentencing policies nationwide over the last three decades. This effort will provide the most comprehensive summary of those changes and their impact on changes in prison population growth during that same period.
Patricia Wright, an accelerated MA candidate in Sociology, received a $2,000 grant from the office of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean to serve as a research assistant on the Bronx African-American History Project as a transcriber and archivist. The Bronx African American History Project is a partnership between The Bronx County Historical Society and Fordham University’s Department of African and African American Studies. The project’s aim is to document the story of African Americans in the borough from colonial times to the present. Patricia was featured in a Bronx Cablevision news story on the Project. It highlighted her discovery of copies of “The Listener,” which was the first African-American newspaper published in the Bronx. Patricia’s discovery represented a major breakthrough in documenting the African-American presence in the Bronx, since no copies of this newspaper exist in any library or archive in the United States.
Richard Falco, Research Scientist at the Louis Calder Center,received a grant for 2004-2005 from the Orange County Department of Health. This grant will be used to fund the project, “Epidemiology of tick bites and assessing risk for Lyme disease in Orange Co., NY. The risk for Lyme disease in Orange County, NY has been steadily increasing in recent years. In this project Falco plans to conduct studies on the epidemiology of ticks parasitizing residents, in order to determine risk locations and the activities and demographics of tick-bite victims. He will also sample localpopulations of deerticks both to ascertain what areas are at high risk for Lyme disease, and to establish baseline-data for long-term population studies in the county.
Daniel Smail, Professor of History, recently won the 2004 James Willard Hurst Prize for his book, The Consumption of Justice: Emotions, Publicity, and Legal Culture in Marseille, 1264-1423. This prize is given annually by the Law and Society Association, a group of scholars interested in the role law plays in the psychology, anthropology, politics, and economics of both contemporary culture and historical societies. Smail’s work focuses on the use made of the court system in medieval Marseille by ordinary people. He was especially praised by the Association for the historical rigor and human sympathy evident in his book, his insights into the roles of women in the medieval courts, the careful attention he gives to archival detail, and his portrayal of civil and criminal litigation as performance.

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