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Currents

May 17, 2011

Seeing a bright future

grads wearing 2011 shades

Members of the Class of 2011 await the start of the Arts, Sciences, and Engineering commencement ceremony on the Eastman Quadrangle. See more photos from the University’s 161st commencement and read more about this year’s teaching award recipients.


Genome duplication encourages rapid adaptation of plants

Justin Ramsey, an assistant professor of biology, has found that at least some plant adaptations can occur almost instantaneously, not by a change in DNA sequence, but simply by duplication of existing genetic material.

Medical Center leads push for new approaches to brain injury

In the race to more accurately diagnose the severity of head injuries quickly and without a CT scan, a Medical Center expert has a leading role in two nationwide studies that are launching this spring.

Career center named for trustee Gwen Greene

“Gwen Greene has been an extraordinarily generous mentor to Rochester students and alumni for many years,” says President Joel Seligman. “This latest gift is another wonderful demonstration of how fortunate our students and alumni are to have Gwen in their corner.”

In Brief

A roundup of news.

Lynne Maquat elected to National Academy of Sciences

According to Maquat, “My accomplishments would not have been possible without years and years of wonderfully committed and talented graduate students and postdocs in my laboratory.”

Students showcase engineering projects

John Spina (left) and Frank Wolfs demonstrate their Stand-Aid Wheelchair at Hajim School Design Day.

Michael Tanenhaus named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

One of Tanenhaus’s groundbreaking findings is that the human brain is continually guessing what word a speaker is trying to say before the speaker has even finished the word.

Attorney Joseph Cunningham endows history professorship

Robert Westbrook, the first recipient, is an eminent scholar, dedicated teacher, and longtime member of the history department.

Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon a Pulitzer Prize finalist

Composer Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, an associate professor of composition at the Eastman School, was a finalist for a 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his work “Comala,” which the Pulitzer committee described as an “ambitious cantata that translates into music an influential work of Latin American literature, giving voice to two cultures that intersect within the term ‘America.’”

Cilas Kemedjio to lead Frederick Douglass Institute

During his three-year appointment, Kemedjio plans to strengthen the institute’s role as a research center by bringing to campus leading scholars for extended stays, from a week to entire semesters.

Leadership changes announced

New appointments are announced for the School of Nursing, the River Campus Libraries, and the Institute of Optics and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Commencement 2011 teaching awards

Project connects families to local resources

The Children’s Center, which cares for 3,000 to 3,500 local children annually while their family members attend court hearings at the Monroe County Hall of Justice, has launched a new initiative to help connect families with resources they could greatly benefit from.

Grant to continue Sibley Music Library’s digitization program

To date, Sibley has digitized more than 11,000 public domain scores and books, accounting for more than three million downloads from the University’s Digital Repository “UR Research.”

University leaders share advice

The Young Leaders @ UR hosted its first Professional Development Panel and Social April 26, featuring a discussion with executive leaders of the University.

Vitamin D linked to breast tumor progression, blood pressure

The study is one of the first to examine vitamin D and breast cancer progression.

Keynote covers diversity in higher education

“There’s no doubt we’ve made progress,” Daryl Smith said about diversity in higher education. “But it is also now clear that our future will rest on finishing the business of our history.”

Students awarded fellowships for graduate research

The fellowship includes a three-year annual stipend of $30,000, a $10,500 educational allowance to the institution, and international research opportunities.

Student project honored

DonDoff Solutions won third-place honors in the New York State Business Plan Competition and tied for second place in the Charles and Janet Forbes Entrepreneurial Competition at the University.

Notables

Celebrating the class of 2011

University introduces new mission statement

“A mission statement is not a statement about the future but rather about what is enduring,” Kuncl says.