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Grads@Rochester: News for University of Rochester Graduate Students (June 26, 2016)
06.26.16: summer construction; jazz festival; Simon Games winners; retiring AS&E faculty; pedestrian safety; Pride Parade; dissertation defenses


Summer Is Construction Season

This summer is one of the most active construction periods of all time on the River Campus. Work on a new River Campus residence hall begins this summer and several improvement projects are currently under way, with many scheduled to be completed by the fall. Read more...

Eastman Musicians Appear Across Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival          

Genre-bending percussionist and composer John Hollenbeck '90E, '91E (MM) brings his ensemble, the Claudia Quintet, to the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival this year—one of numerous Eastman School of Music alumni, students, and faculty members performing on the festival’s stages. Eastman has been involved in the festival since it was founded in 2002. Held in the area surrounding the school’s campus on Gibbs Street—renamed “Jazz Street” during the festival—this year’s event is under way and continues through Saturday, July 2.

Simon Games Winners Announced

Winners of the 2016 Simon Games business simulation scholarship competition are: Carter Middleton from Greater Rochester Enterprise, Patrick Johnson from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, David Kish from, and Nick Garofoli from the Hartford Financial Services Group in the part-time MBA category. Top honors in the executive MBA category went to Sudhakar Sivaraj from SPX Flow Lightnin, Benjamin Papp from ConServe-ARM, Geoff Lawrence from Gorbel Inc., and Stacey Saracene from Causewave Community Partners (formerly Ad Council of Rochester). Read more...

Seward Family Papers Project Earns National Archives Grant

The Seward Family Archive, a digital humanities project that’s a collaboration between the Department of History and the River Campus Libraries, has been awarded a two-year grant totaling over $97,000 from the National Archives Literacy and Engagement with Historical Records Program. Read more...

Eastman BroadBand Returns to Italy as Resident Ensemble for Festival

Eastman BroadBand, a chamber music ensemble at the Eastman School of Music, makes a return engagement this summer to soundSCAPE in Maccagno, Italy. From July 1 through 14, the group will serve as the festival’s resident ensemble for the second year in a row. Read more...

CTSI Offers Advanced Certificate in Regulatory Science

The Clinical and Translation Science Institute, in partnership with the Department of Public Health Sciences, is rolling out a new advanced certificate in regulatory science for graduate students, postdocs, and researchers from a broad range of fields. The program is one of several efforts by the CTSI to advance regulatory science and promote student and trainee interest in learning how new drugs and devices are developed and ultimately reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.

A Look at the Distinguished Careers of Retiring AS&E Faculty

Read about the notable contributions of Stephen Burns (mechanical engineering), Douglas Cline (physics and astronomy), Stanley Engerman (economics), George Grella (English), John Harper (mathematics), Ronald Jones (economics), Richard Niemi (political science), and Ernest Nordeen (brain and cognitive sciences).

What's at Stake When Languages Are Lost?

Farai Mutonhori ’19 came of age fluent in five languages, and conversant in a sixth. Multilingualism on that scale is still the norm in parts of the world such as his native Zimbabwe. But linguists wonder how long that will be the case. It’s expected that by the end of this century, as many as half of the world’s approximately 7,000 languages will have fallen out of use. Many endangered languages are sparsely, if at all, documented. Read more...

Conversing with Computer May Fight Fear of Public Speaking

Can a computer make you a better public speaker? Researchers from the Rochester Human Computer Interaction group created a platform that aims to do just that. The RocSpeak project led by Ehsan Hoque, assistant professor of computer science, and his students was recently highlighted by Microsoft. Read more... 

Take a Look Behind the Scenes of The Marriage of Figaro

Eastman Opera Theatre presented Le Nozze di Figaro (Marriage of Figaro) last spring for the 10th time in the Eastman School of Music's history. With its lavish period costumes and design, and the musical tapestry that unfolds during the four acts, the opera is both challenging and exhilarating for the student cast and the production crew. Watch the video.

Safety Corner: Pedestrian Safety Reminders

With a number of reports of pedestrians nearly being struck by cars while using crosswalks, Environmental Health and Safety offers safety suggestions for drivers and pedestrians.

Security Tip: Mobile Device Security

When traveling and enjoying the weather this summer, University IT reminds you to make sure your smartphones and tablets are locked with a security code/PIN to protect it if stolen. Back up important data before traveling. If possible, activate the GPS tracking option to locate the device if stolen, but do not try to confront the thief yourself. If your device goes missing, report it immediately to the police and your service carrier. Furthermore, if the device accesses University email or data, call the Help Desk immediately to report the loss. If the thief might have access to your banking, email, and other accounts, change your passwords immediately.


New Exhibit: Susumu Okubo and 'The Eightfold Way'

An exhibit on display in the Physics-Optics-Astronomy Library (Bausch and Lomb Hall) celebrates the scientific legacy of Susumu Okubo '58 (PhD), emeritus professor of physics, who died in 2015. While at Rochester, Okubu made large contributions to the understanding of baryonic matter and the development of the quark model. He is best known for his role in developing the Gell-Mann–Okubo Mass formula. Susumu Okubo and "The Eightfold Way" is open through December 11.

Enjoy Live Music with Lunch at College Town

The Swooners will be playing on the "Green" at Celebration Drive from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 29. Grab lunch and enjoy live music outside. Free parking is available in the garage and shuttle service from the Medical Center and River Campus will be available. Read more...

Networking Event for Postdocs, Graduate Students

A School of Medicine and Dentistry National Networking Hour will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 29. The session includes brief one-on-one online chats that allow you to build your professional network. Postdocs and graduate students can connect with alumni in the Rochester region or in a desired future locale. Each conversation will be limited to eight minutes. Register here. Contact or with any questions. The event is cohosted by the Office of Alumni Relations and the Center for Professional Development.

Walk with the University at Pride Parade

Join the University in celebrating Rochester's diverse community and march with other members of the University community in the Rochester Pride Parade on Saturday, July 16. RSVP here.

Save the Date: Association of American Medical Colleges Conference Is May 4–6

More than 300 medical and health professions educators from across the northeast will visit the School of Medicine and Dentistry next spring for a conference that will expose them to cutting-edge research and innovation in their field. The school will host the Association of American Medical Colleges 2017 Northeast Group on Educational Affairs Annual Conference from May 4 to 6, 2017.

PhD Dissertation Defenses

  • Bingchao Huangfu, economics, "Reputation Dynamics in Stochastic Games," Monday, June 20. Advisors: Srihari Govindan and Paulo Barelli
  • Xiao Tian, biology, "Identification of Longevity and Cancer Resistance Mechanisms in Long-lived Rodent Species," Tuesday, June 21. Advisor: Vera Gorbunova
  • Kelly Sowers, chemistry, "Synthesis, Photophysics, and Applications of Colloidal Semiconductor Quantum Dots," Thursday, June 23. Advisor: Todd Krauss
  • Yi-Ming Lai, physics, "Integrated Nanophotonics with Genetically Designed Photonic Crystal Structures," Friday, June 24. Advisor: Antonio Badolato
  • Xu Tian, economics, "Essays on Macro-Finance," Friday, June 24. Advisors: Yan Bai and Toni Whited
  • Laura Desplans, economics, "Essays in International Finance," Monday, June 27 (no public lecture). Advisors: George Alessandria and Yan Bai
  • Kathlyn Fillman, chemistry, "Theoretical and Spectroscopic Studies of Mid-First Row Transition Metal Complexes," 9 a.m., Monday, June 27, Dewey Hall 2110D. Advisor: Kara Bren
  • Malik Al-Afyouni, chemistry, "The Coordination Chemistry and Reactivity of Organometallic Cobalt, Iron, and Manganese Complexes," 2 p.m., Monday, June 27, Hutchison Hall 473. Advisor: Kara Bren
  • Sara Snell, microbiology and immunology, “Staphylococcus aureus Pathoadaptation and Development of Resistance,” 9 a.m., Thursday, June 30, Auditorium K-307 (3-6408), Medical Center. Advisor: Steven Gill
  • Brittany Szymaniak, genetics, “Loss of ATM Induces Glial Cell Dysfunction in a Novel Murine Model of Ataxia-Telangiectasia,” 10 a.m., Thursday, June 30, Ryan Case Method Room (1-9576), Medical Center. Advisor: Margot Mayer-Proschel
  • Lin Li, geosciences, "Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Central-Northern Tibetan Plateau: Evidence from Sedimentation and Stable Isotopes," 10 a.m., Friday, July 1, Hutchison 229. Advisor: Carmala Garzione

Rochester in the News

Yes, There Have Been Aliens

New York Times, June 10
There has been a revolution in the discovery of planets outside our solar system over the last decade—knowledge that has clarified astrophysicist Adam Frank’s thinking about alien life. As Frank, professor of physics and astronomy, explains in a New York Times op-ed, there must have been other civilizations on other worlds before ours here on earth, “unless the universe is perversely hyper-pessimistic.”

Is There a Link Between Being in the Closet and Being Homophobic?

The Conversation, June 22
"Some have wondered if those who are homophobic may actually be closeted themselves," writes Cody DeHaan, a PhD candidate in psychology. "Has research actually identified a relationship between repressing same-sex attractions and expressing homophobia? And what factors may influence these feelings?"
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