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Fordham College at Lincoln Center Accepted into Phi Beta Kappa

In 1962, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) was accepted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. And recently, Phi Beta Kappa approved Fordham University’s request to include the Lincoln Center campus as one of the three schools, along with FCRH and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, that make up Fordham’s chapter.

“For the students of Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) this is very significant,” said John Kezel, Ph.D., University director for the Saint Edmund Campion Institute for the Advancement of Intellectual Excellence and president of Fordham’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter. “Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest, largest and most widely recognized honor society in America.”

For the first time since FCLC’s establishment in 1968, liberal arts students will be eligible for admission into Phi Beta Kappa. Seniors must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.7 and juniors a minimum of 3.85 to be considered for acceptance. Extracurricular activities are also taken into account.

Candidates for Phi Beta Kappa will be nominated by faculty who are permanent members of the society. Elections will be held during the spring semester.

“Phi Beta Kappa is looking for well-rounded students with what I like to call, ‘interesting transcripts,’” said Robert R. Grimes, S.J., dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center.

A rule change adopted last year by the Phi Beta Kappa Senate opened the door for FCLC to be included in Fordham’s chapter. The senate decided that universities with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter at one of its campuses could add a chapter to other sites if four conditions were met.

For Fordham that meant proving that:

  • All faculty are hired to a particular campus without discrimination.
  • All students are accepted to Fordham under the same standards.
  • Students at different campuses have no advantages over one another.
  • Fordham graduates are graduates of the University, not a particular campus.


"I believe that it is a fitting recognition of the achievements of the students of FCLC,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University. “And Father Grimes deserves a great deal of credit for all that he did to extend Phi Beta Kappa membership to FCLC students."

                                                                                                         — John Blakeley


Calder Center May Get a Boost in Its Effort to Fight Lyme Disease

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), with Calder Center researchers Richard Falco, Ph.D., (left), and Thomas Daniels, Ph.D., (right), is leading an effort to get more federal funding to study and help prevent Lyme disease.

A U.S. Senate panel has given preliminary approval to a bill that would provide $200,000 to support Lyme disease research at the Vector Ecology Laboratory at Fordham University’s Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y. The funding is included in the 2005 Veterans Affairs-Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill yet to be approved by the full Senate.

“The last thing parents should have to worry about when their kids play in the backyard is that they’ll contract Lyme disease from ticks they may not even be able to see on their child’s skin,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has worked to secure the funding for the center.

At a Sept. 10 press conference at the Hartsbrook Nature Preserve in Greenburgh, N.Y., scientists from Fordham’s Biological Field Station joined Schumer in calling for more federal funding for Lyme disease research. Thomas J. Daniels, Ph.D., vector ecologist, and Richard C. Falco, Ph.D., medical entomologist, said that cases of Lyme disease in the United States have increased dramatically over the last three years, with New York state accounting for nearly one-third of all diagnosed cases of the tick-borne disease nationwide. Through the University’s Lyme Disease Research Program, Daniels and Falco have been monitoring tick populations and Lyme disease throughout the Hudson Valley for years.

“Good science takes time and money, and unfortunately, over the last five years funding for Lyme disease has decreased,” said Daniels. “In addition to developing newer technologies to diagnose and treat the disease, we need to devote more resources to controlling ticks and reducing the risk for tick bites.”

Presently, there is no reliable blood test or vaccine for the disease, and medical authorities often disagree about how to effectively treat the illness. An infected individual sometimes exhibits a bull’s-eye rash at the point of infection, but often symptoms mirror those of the flu, making Lyme disease difficult to diagnose. Although rarely fatal, untreated Lymedisease can cause people to develop severe and chronic symptoms, such as arthritis, meningitis, Bell’s palsy, heart abnormalities, depression, and weakness or pain in the extremities.

In a three-point plan to combat the disease, Schumer is calling for $10 million in additional funding for research and prevention, the creation of a new federal Tick-borne Disorders Advisory Committee, and a targeted education campaign to promote awareness of the disease and how to protect against infection.

“We need to start funding the research and technology needed to better diagnose Lyme disease,” said Schumer, “and we need to train residents throughout the region to look for the warning signs.”

The Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station is a 113-acre field station in Armonk, N.Y., which is used to train biologists for work in environmental science and conservation. The Center has a 10-acre lake for aquatic studies, a modern laboratory for biological and chemical analyses, and forest, field and wetland habitats for teaching and doing research in ecology and conservation.

                                                                                                      — Michael Larkin


Humanitarian Affairs Program to Participate in Unique Fellowship

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has selected Fordham University’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) to participate in the 2005 CASE Media Fellowships Program. The fellowships provide an opportunity for universities to showcase outstanding programs and faculty by hosting journalists for up to a month.

Fordham’s proposal, “Humanitarianism in the Age of Terror,” highlighted the IIHA’s International Diploma in Humanitarian Affairs (IDHA), a monthlong residential program that brings to campus about 40 aid workers from relief agencies, including the Red Cross, the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders and UNICEF, as well as members of the military. While at Fordham, IDHA participants, most of whom are actively engaged in humanitarian assistance, share field stories, discuss common challenges and objectives, hear from leading experts in the field and dissect case studies.

Journalists awarded the fellowship will spend from one week to a month at Fordham next summer sitting in on IDHA sessions; hearing firsthand about the complexities of humanitarian aid work in an age of heightened terrorism; and working closely with Fordham faculty, including IIHA Director Kevin M. Cahill, M.D., and Visiting Professor Larry Hollingworth, C.B.E.

For the reporter, it’s an opportunity to enhance his or her understanding of humanitarian issues by gaining insight and making contacts. For Fordham, it’s an opportunity to build lasting relationships with journalists.

The International Diploma in Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham University was one of 20 applicants selected to participate in the CASE Media Fellowship. According to CASE, the IDHA program was selected for its relevance to the news media, its quality, and the reputation and distinction of Fordham faculty.

— Suzanne Stevens

Library Reference Help 24 Hours a Day

Fordham students studying late into the night no longer have to wait until morning to get assistance tracking down research materials. Using a new Virtual Reference service, Fordham faculty and students can confer with a professional reference librarian 24-hours a day, seven days a week via an online chatroom.

Launched on Sept. 13, the Virtual Reference service is the result of a partnership between the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and Tutor.com. The service allows the student and librarian to view databases and websites together, and allows the librarian to send Word documents and images to the user. At the end of the session, a complete transcript of the exchange is sent to the student or faculty member.

“We will not only be providing an important and timely service to students,” said James McCabe, Ph.D., University librarian, “we’ll also be giving them lifelong research tools and skills.”

Students or faculty can log onto the service from any location by clicking on the “Ask the Librarian” link on the Fordham library homepage.

The Walsh Family Library, already one of the most wired and technically advanced university libraries in the country, has also added new databases, including an Aristotle Bibliography, the Naxos Music Library and the Social Science Citation Index.

— Suzanne Stevens


Spiritual Counselors Attend Partners in Healing Conference

Douglas Ronsheim, executive director of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, talked about ways that spiritual counselors, members of the clergy and health-care workers can collaborate to improve their work with the sick and dying.
Photo by Ken Levinson

The drenching rains of Hurricane Ivan didn’t keep spiritual counselors, health-care workers, psychologists, social workers and members of the clergy away from the sixth annual Partners in Healing Conference on Sept. 18 in the McGinley Center.

“It felt like a miracle day,” said Beverly Musgrave, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of pastoral counseling and spiritual care at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GSRRE). “We still had more than 100 people attend the conference, and everyone that came in was drenched, including the speakers.”

Participants, all of whom minister to the sick and dying, were welcomed to the McGinley Center Ballroom by Anthony J. Ciorra, Ph.D., dean of GSRRE. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University, delivered the invocation and stressed the important role of Partners in Healing at Fordham and in the community. Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., president emeritus of Fordham University, delivered the keynote address, “In Search of a Community in Hope and Forgiveness.”

Douglas Ronsheim, executive director of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, urged spiritual counselors, clergy, health-care workers and other participants to find ways to collaborate.

Workshops throughout the day included “Post 9/11 Challenge: Responding to the Health Care Needs of Muslims,” “Healing Conversations: Decisions at the End of Life,” and “Empowering the Caregiver.”

The Partners in Healing Conference was sponsored by a number of groups including GSRRE, the Catholic Charities Community Services and Deaconate Formation programs of the Archdiocese of New York, and the National Organization for Empowering Caregivers.

— Suzanne Stevens


Natural Law and the Tradition of a Just War

Thomas Lee, J.D., an associate professor of law at Fordham Law School, speaking at the Natural Law Colloquium

The U.S.-led military conflict in Iraq and the overriding war against terrorism are being fought in the tradition of a “just war,” said Jean Bethke Elshtain, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Chicago, during her keynote address at the Fordham Natural Law Colloquium on Sept. 9 in the McNally Amphitheatre.

“If there is no peace under a regime, it would be cruel not to use force to remove it,” said Elshtain, who is the author of many books and essays, including Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World (Basic Books, 2003).

Elshtain argued that a nation could justify waging war against another country to address a clear case of injustice to people who cannot defend themselves. She further stated that the authority of the international community is ultimately undermined when aggressors are allowed to operate without the fear of reprisal.

John Davenport, Ph.D., an associate professor of philosophy at Fordham University, said during his response to Elshtain that the international community has failed to sufficiently address threats in Iraq and other regions of the world, subsequently opening the door for a United States-led coalition.

Also on the panel was Thomas Lee, J.D., an associate professor at Fordham Law School, who noted that the current international community’s requirements for war, while often criticized for being narrow in scope, protect against a unilateral military action that is motivated by a nation’s own self-interest.

“The current international law regime on the use of force, which says you can only fight in self-defense or with United Nations Security Council authorization, provides an external check on one nation’s self-interest being the cause for war,” said Lee.

The Natural Law Colloquium, inaugurated in the fall of 2000, is sponsored by the School of Law and the Department of Philosophy at Fordham University. It is dedicated to encouraging reflection on “natural law” reasoning in law, politics and public discourse.

— Michael Larkin and Jennifer Spenser

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Fordham Volunteers Tackle Community Service Projects

Fordham students received pointers from Bissel Gardens Coordinator Russell LeCount before heading to work in the garden.
Photo by Ken Levinson

More than 50 students, faculty, staff and alumni from the Lincoln Center and Rose Hill campuses spent a beautiful Saturday in the service of others during the 4th Annual Fordham Volunteer Day on Sept. 25. Volunteers spread out across the Bronx escorting elderly Jesuits to the Fordham football game, helping out at homeless shelters, cleaning up neighborhoods, and working at Bissel Gardens. The day provided the Fordham family with an opportunity to fulfill the Jesuit ideal of men and women for others.

“Service is embedded in the Fordham fabric,” said Sandra Lobo Jost, director of the Community Service Program. “Our office has a history of 20 years working in the community.”

— Suzanne Stevens

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Summer Research Program Prepares Students for Scientific Endeavors

Ten college students who participated in the Louis Calder Center Summer Undergraduate Research Program presented their research findings to an audience of peers, professors and graduate students during a final symposium on Aug. 20. During the daylong event, the 2004 Calder Center Fellows, selected from 120 applicants, reported on research they’d conducted throughout the 12-week residency program.

Topics ranged from “The Use of Daily Torpor by Eastern Chipmunks During Early Summer” to “General Urban Indicators for Streams.” Most of the participants in the summer research program are college seniors from schools that lack research facilities. Through the program, they learn to become independent thinkers and researchers, and get a taste of graduate study in the field of bio-ecology.

“Students enter the program in various states of preparation,” said John Wehr, Ph.D., director of the Calder Center. “They leave here at the end of the summer having gotten to a new state of confidence and preparation.”

In addition to conducting research, students from Hartwick College, American University, North Carolina State University, the University of Idaho and other schools attended an ecological society conference in Portland, Ore., and learned to test their hypotheses in a complex ecosystem of flora and fauna at the Calder Center’s 32-acre preserve in Armonk, N.Y.

— Pam Renner

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Fordham College at Rose Hill Welcomes Freshmen

Lito Salazar, S.J., campus and retreat minister at Rose Hill, spoke with Fordham students at Dagger John’s during a Sept. 21 reception to welcome to campus Jesuit high-school graduates who are now freshmen at Fordham. The reception was hosted by Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill. A similar reception was held on Sept. 28 for freshman Presidential, Merit and Dean scholars.

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