The Rochester Review, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA

University of 

University of Rochester

A Report on the Events of the Year

All universities have high hopes, lofty aspirations.

But it's in the day-to-day that each institution really proves itself. Thus, I am most happy to present the evidence of many of our accomplishments in 1998-99.

As recounted here--in such diverse enterprises as original undergraduate research in Pueblo pottery, faculty discoveries in self-assembling plastics, and collaborative explorations in how technology may remake the future of medicine--the scholarly and innovative work that goes on across all fields reminds us that Rochester is a place where great things happen, daily.

Such accomplishments are the result of hard work, and they are a tribute to the commitment and talent of the people who make Rochester such an intellectually stimulating place to be.

I hope this brief recounting of the year's highlights inspires as much pride for you as it gives me.

Thomas H. Jackson

Surprise! It's in the Eyes!

The cells that human eyes use to process color are surprisingly random in their distribution, according to the best pictures ever taken of a living retina.

Using technology originally designed for astronomers, David Williams, director of the Center for Visual Science, and postdoctoral researcher Austin Roorda used a laser-based application of adaptive optics to get an unprecedented peek at human peepers.

The surprise: Color-distinguishing cells are scattered throughout the retina in no clearly discernible pattern.

"If you were to design a digital camera, you'd never use a random geometry like this," says Williams. "Yet it turns out that that's what the most sophisticated imaging device in the world--the human eye--uses."


At this year's Commencement, three teachers were recognized for their contributions to the lives of their students and to the University.

John C. Lambropoulos, professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, received the Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. A member of the faculty since 1984, Lambropolous is known for his animated love of teaching, and for his generosity with his time with students. He helped design an engineering course for non-majors and helped establish an academic exchange with the ORT-Braude school in Israel.

Lynne Orr, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, received the G. Graydon and Jane W. Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching for a Nontenured Member of the Faculty. Since joining the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1993, Orr has helped establish undergraduate teaching assistantships to increase the participation of women in physics. She regularly wins rave reviews for her teaching. "Enthusiastic instructor, lucid notes, effective homework. An excellent class!" wrote one student.

G. Bingham Powell, Jr., professor of political science, received the University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching. A member of the faculty since 1970, Powell is credited with establishing the University's national reputation for studies of comparative politics. An internationally regarded scholar in comparative political science, Powell can claim former students on the faculties of Yale, Columbia, Rice, Kansas, Kentucky, Texas A&M, and other leading universities.

Student Employee Honored

Scott Nuernberger, a Take Five Scholar from Chaffee, New York, has been named the student employee of the year for the state of New York. He also was one of three runners-up in the 1999 National Student Employee of the Year competition.

A brain and cognitive sciences and statistics major, Nuernberger worked as an information analyst in the Department of Psychiatry, where he was responsible for extensive computer programming and coordinated several research projects, including his own.

He also worked with seriously ill patients and trained other students in research procedures.

The competition is sponsored by the National Association of Student Employment Administrators and is coordinated on campus by the Career Center.

Nuernberger was accepted into a doctoral program in statistical science at Cornell University, beginning this fall.

Strong Adds Heart Transplants

Adults and children in Upstate New York who need heart transplants will not have to travel to other parts of the state after the year 2000.

That's when Strong Memorial Hospital is expected to begin performing the procedure, adding a cardiac transplant program to the Medical Center's long list of other successful transplant programs.

The New York State Department of Health in April approved Strong's request to begin the program.

The new program comes after Strong's liver transplant team also performed a milestone procedure this year.

In March, surgeons successfully transplanted a segment of the liver of a 28-year-old man into the man's 6-month-old daughter.

It was the first time the living related donor procedure has been done for a liver patient in Upstate New York. Both daughter and dad are doing well.

Eastman Unveils Weill Manuscripts

The music of Kurt Weill took center stage last fall at the Eastman School during a celebration to mark the arrival of the original manuscripts of his Threepenny Opera, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, and 19 other works.

Events included three concerts of Weill's music, the premiere of salon orchestra arrangements of his works, a vocal competition, and symposia.

Also on hand was renowned Canadian operatic soprano Teresa Stratas, who was awarded an honorary degree. Earlier she spoke to a packed hall of students after a screening of the biographical film, Stratasphere.

The Sibley Music Library, a major center for music scholarship, was selected as a repository by the Viennese music publisher Universal Edition, in cooperation with the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music in New York City. The presence of the manuscripts, here on indefinite loan, facilitates the American edition of the composer's works now in progress.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Female M.B.A. students at the Simon School are doing their best to make sure the corporate glass ceiling does not begin in business school.

The Business Women's Forum at Simon launched a new effort last fall to make sure women business students feel welcome in their male-dominated field of study and succeed as business people.

Recent studies show that the overall average for women in the top 20 business programs (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report) was 29 percent. At the same time, the percentage of women at top medical and law schools typically tops 40 percent.

At Simon, about 23 percent of M.B.A. students are women.

The Business Women's Forum started a mentoring program to match all incoming female students with a current female student. The organization also brought in successful businesswomen to talk about their careers and boosted efforts to help alumnae searching for new careers.

Particle Physics, Pueblo Pottery, Plus Much More: University Hosts Undergraduate Scholars

Govind Krishnaswami '99 layered the overhead projector with slides of functions and symbols that make up the secret language of physicists. Inside the corner classroom in Meliora Hall, a group of like-minded students from across the country listened attentively.

Racing through his presentation as if he were an accelerated particle himself, Krishnaswami described a model of how sub-atomic particles interact within a proton. He and Professor S. G. Rajeev had co-authored a paper on the topic that had been published in the December issue of the journal Physics Letters B.

Krishnaswami could easily have been a junior faculty member addressing colleagues. Far from that, Krishnaswami--and his audience--had yet to graduate from college.

They and more than 2,200 other students from throughout the United States converged on the University in April for the 13th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research. For three days, students from 280 colleges and universities filled classrooms to share the results of their advanced work in physics, astronomy, mathematics, biology, anthropology, music, art, religion, and other fields.

Krishnaswami, a mathematics and physics double major, had two projects in physics and one in mathematics accepted by the screening committee for NCUR. The triple-play is as rare as an undergraduate's work being published by a respected physics journal.

"Doing research gives you the chance to work on something to the very end, and that is the only way you can really learn something yourself," Krishnaswami says. "You can't always do that in class."

For the University, serving as host of NCUR highlighted a key emphasis of the undergraduate curriculum: Students routinely work closely with faculty during their four years of college.

A total of 59 Rochester students, one of the biggest contingents at the conference, had projects accepted for NCUR.

Thomas J. LeBlanc, dean of the faculty of arts, sciences, and engineering, says Rochester was a "natural" site to host NCUR.

"We have world-class resources--faculty, laboratories, libraries--and a tradition of making them fully available to undergraduates with strong research interests and abilities," LeBlanc says.

Kristin Dowell '99, an anthropology major who presented her findings from a field study on American Indian potters in New Mexico and Arizona, said the opportunities to conduct research as an undergraduate appealed to her.

"For me, anthropology is really about field work," Dowell said. "You can learn a lot from a book, but to learn the methodology of anthropology, you really have to do your own work out in the field."

Medical School Unveils 'Double Helix'

Medical students in the four-year M.D. program will take simultaneous doses of clinical and classroom work under a new curriculum approved in 1998.

Named after the intertwining protein strands that make up DNA, the "Double Helix" Curriculum integrates basic science and clinical medicine in an innovative way.

Beginning with their first year, students will do clinical work as part of a health care team. With such clinical work as a basis, students will weave increasingly advanced basic science into their second, third, and fourth years through a series of problem-based learning exercises.

'COPE'-ing with Illness

Children and families dealing with the consequences of life-threatening illnesses and injuries throughout the United States, in Canada, and as far away as Israel and Taiwan, are getting help from a School of Nursing professor.

Bernadette Melnyk, associate professor of nursing and associate dean for research, has developed a series of intervention programs called "Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment." COPE is designed to help parents and their children understand and address the emotional side of critical illness and other stressful junctures in life.

Together with Linda Alpert-Gillis, associate professor of psychiatry, Melnyk has created an educational videotape that has been distributed nationally and helped write two children's books to guide parents and children through rough emotional waters.

Melnyk's original COPE study showed that mothers and children who went through the program reported considerably less anxiety, fewer negative feelings, and fewer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder than those who didn't take part in COPE.


Randall Calvert, professor of political science and former chair of the department, was appointed to the Don Alonzo Watson Professorship of Political Science. Watson, a co-founder of Western Union, endowed the professorship to acknowledge achievements in the study of political science and history.

Dorinda Outram joined the faculty as the first holder of the Franklin W. and Gladys I. Clark Chair of History. The professorship was endowed through a gift from Franklin '30, '33 (Mas) and Gladys Clark.

Kathleen Parthé, director of the Russian Studies Program and an associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, has been named Mercer Brugler Distinguished Teaching Professor. The professorship was established in 1979 in honor of the late Mercer Brugler '25, chair emeritus of the University's Board of Trustees, with support from Sybron Corp.

In recognition of the contributions of one of the original members of the Eastman School's Board of Managers, the school has created the Herbert and Elsa Eisenhart Professorship in Music Education. Herbert Eisenhart was named to the board in the 1920s and served on it for almost 40 years. Donna Brink Fox, associate professor of music education and chair of the music education department, is the first Eisenhart Professor.

The daughters of Ruth Miller Brody '42N, a former director of the School of Nursing, and Bernard B. Brody '51M (MD) have sponsored the creation of a professorship at the School of Nursing to honor their parents. Jane Kirschling, professor of nursing and associate dean for academic affairs, was the first holder of the Brody professorship.

Raffaella Borasi, professor of education at the Warner School, has been named to the Frederica Warner Chair in Education. The chair, established in 1988 by the late Margaret Warner Scandling '44 and her husband William F. Scandling, honors Mrs. Scandling's aunt, Frederica Warner '09, a New York City teacher for 36 years.

Bradford Berk, recently appointed chief of cardiology at the Medical Center and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Research, has been named Paul Yu Professor of Cardiology, an endowed position named after a national figure in cardiology who served the Medical Center for many years.

James V. Sitzmann was named to the Seymour I. Schwartz Professorship in Surgery and was named chair of the Department of Surgery.

The Simon School announced six named professorships:

Michael J. Barclay, professor of finance and finance area coordinator, has been named Alumni Distinguished Professor of Business Administration. The Alumni Distinguished Professorship was established in 1986 through contributions from 800 Simon alumni as well as gifts from faculty, staff, and private benefactors. A gift from the 1985 class of the Simon School's Executive Development Program provided the final gift to establish the chair.

James A. Brickley, professor of economics and management, and of finance, has been named Gleason Professor of Business Administration. The chair was established in 1986 through a grant from the Gleason Memorial Fund.

G. William Schwert, professor of finance and statistics, has been named Distinguished University Professor. The honor is given to faculty who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to the University and made significant contributions to their fields.

Jay A. Shanken, professor of finance, has been named the Frontier Corporation Professor of Business Administration. The professorship was established in 1986 as the Rochester Telephone Corporation Professorship through a gift from the Rochester Telephone Corporation.

Henry Epstein, recently retired senior vice president of Staples, and his wife, Louise, have endowed a professorship in business administration. Clifford W. Smith, Jr., professor of finance and economics, is the first holder of the chair.

Another newly endowed Simon professorship honors the late William H. Meckling, who served as dean of the school from 1964 to 1983. The first incumbent is Ross L. Watts, professor of accounting and chair of the Simon School Ph.D. Program.

Quick, The Doctor Is In

The doctor is listening.

O.K., time's up.

Actually, patients have, on average, about 23 seconds to recount their concerns before a typical doctor interrupts.

That's according to a widely reported study by Ronald Epstein, associate professor of family medicine and psychiatry, that looked at U.S. and Canadian physicians and their interaction with patients.

The findings were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Epstein's study examined about 300 visits to 29 experienced physicians. The study found that doctors typically redirect the conversation after listening to the first complaint even though patients usually have three or four reasons for visiting the doctor.

Epstein says doctors who have had some training in communication skills were better listeners, and he says medical schools, including the University, have begun adding such programs as part of their curricula.

Keillor, Reich, Dohnányi Visit Eastman

From the shores of Lake Wobegon to the pinnacles of American composing and conducting, the Eastman School offered a performance feast, thanks to a string of notable visitors.

Garrison Keillor, host of the public radio show A Prairie Home Companion, gave a special performance in April to benefit the Eastman School of Music Scholarship Fund.

The performance featured Keillor's signature monologues and the world premiere of a work for narrator and orchestra by Eastman undergraduate Tellef Johnson.

The performance raised $80,000.

In February, Steve Reich, one of the world's foremost living composers, was in residence at the school.

To kick off the year, Christoph von Dohnányi, music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, led the Eastman Philharmonia in concert. Dohnányi, considered one of the world's premier orchestral and opera conductors, also received an honorary doctorate from the school.

'The Wild Man' Debut(eth)

The University's first playwright-in-residence, Howard Marc Solomon, has written a second act for a long-forgotten stage pioneer's theatrical work.

He staged the world premiere of his drama, The Wild Man, on the River Campus as part of the International Theater Program.

The play is based on a turn-of-the-century play, Der Wilder Mensch, written by Jacob Gordin, considered one of the first realists in Yiddish theater in the United States.

Solomon's research turned up a single edition of the play, published in Warsaw. He translated it and crafted a new drama based on it.

As playwright-in-residence, Solomon led a 10-week class in which students wrote their own one-act plays.

University Programs Win High Marks

University programs in physics, medicine, business, and engineering were among those listed in a variety of top graduate and professional program rankings released in March by U.S. News & World Report.

The College's doctoral physics program in the "atomic/molecular" specialty was listed seventh.

The School of Medicine and Dentistry was ranked 30th overall among medical schools, and its primary care program was ranked 11th best among primary care medical schools.

The William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration was ranked 23rd.

The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences was ranked 50th.

In other ranking news, the College's Department of Political Science was listed third among the top 50 in the country ranked in the journal PS: Political Science and Politics. The ranking is based on faculty productivity and is adjusted for the size of each program.

Also this year, the Simon School was ranked 21st best overall by the Financial Times of London among North American and European programs. The Simon School's M.B.A. course was ranked 13th best by the newspaper.

Snakes: Smarter Than Some Perceive

Snakes are slithering past the stereotypes set by the science of the past, says a University neuroscientist.

David Holtzman's latest study shows that snakes are smarter than some scientists have conceded.

Since the 1950s, snakes have been classified as slow--not in speed, but in smarts--mostly because the science of the times asked snakes to slip through mazes. It's a task that snakes disdain.

In Holtzman's study, 24 corn snakes were challenged to slip out of escape holes in a plastic tub. The circle more closely simulated the snakes' outside surroundings.

The study showed that the snakes easily found the exits. Successive experiments demonstrated the snakes had the sensory capacity to discern the position of the holes and slipped away seconds sooner with each test.


Rochester's faculty-scholars added to the nation's intellectual culture in 1998-99, writing books for both academic and lay audiences. Here is a sample of some of their work:

Native North American Art, by Janet Berlo, the Susan B. Anthony Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and professor of art and art history, with Ruth Phillips (Oxford University Press)

Essays by Lewis White Beck: Five Decades as a Philosopher, essays by the late Burbank Professor Emeritus of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy, edited by Predrag Cicovacki '91 (PhD) (University of Rochester Press)

Urban Exodus, by Gerald Gamm, James P. Wilmot Associate Professor of Political Science and History (Harvard University Press)

The Ph.D. Process: A Student's Guide to Graduate School in the Sciences, by Nicholas Cohen, professor of microbiology and immunology, psychiatry, and oncology, and Dale F. Bloom, and Jonathan D. Karp, (former postdoctoral fellows) (Oxford University Press)

Threshold, by James Longenbach, Joseph Henry Gilmore Professor of English (The University of Chicago Press)

Bonfire Songs: Savonarola's Musical Legacy, by Patrick Macey, associate professor of musicology (Oxford University Press)

King Arthur in America, by Alan Lupack, curator, Robbins Library, and Barbara Tepa Lupack (Boydell and Brewer)

Civic Education: What Makes Students Learn, by Richard G. Niemi, professor of political science, and Jane Junn (Yale University Press)

Our House: A Tribute to Fenway Park, by Curt Smith, senior lecturer in English (Contemporary Books)

Thomas Jefferson: Notes on the State of Virginia, edited by Frank Shuffelton, professor of English (Penguin Books)

1999 Almanac of Higher Education, edited by Harold Wechsler, professor, Warner School (National Education Association)

Organizational Report Cards, by David L. Weimer, professor of political science, and William T. Gormley, Jr. (Harvard University Press)

Progress in Optics (vol. 38 and vol. 39), edited by Emil Wolf, Wilson Professor of Optical Physics (Elsevier)

Team Studies New Ideas for Late-Life Care

Will changes in the culture of nursing homes change the way people living in them age?

A team led by Warner School professor Dale Dannefer is studying that question with the help of two nursing homes that are trying to do away with the stereotype of late-life care as constraining and depressing.

The team is documenting the structure of day-to-day activities at the homes and evaluating their impact on the health and quality of life of residents. One goal is to better understand which aspects of illness and aging are organic and which are the results of the nursing home environment.

"It's a radical idea, but one that will benefit all of us," says Dannefer, an internationally known sociologist of aging. "Everyone who lives long enough gets very, very old. Four out of every 10 people who are 65 today are likely to spend some time in a nursing home before they die."

With funding from the New York State Department of Health and the van Ameringen Foundation, Dannefer is collaborating with Fairport Baptist Homes, the Jewish Home of Rochester, and LIFESPAN, a community-based service agency.

Biomedical Sciences Begins New Era; Building Named for Nobelist

In the 240,000 square feet that make up the Medical Center's new research building, a two-and-a-half-inch detail stands out: a gold Nobel Prize medal.

Arthur Kornberg '41M (MD), who received the Nobel in 1959 for discovering a way to synthesize DNA, presented his medallion this spring to the University for permanent display in the lobby of the new building.

The building, which will be named the Arthur Kornberg Medical Research Building, is the centerpiece of a 10-year, $400 million plan to greatly expand the medical research program at the University.

Located at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Lattimore Road, the building houses the University of Rochester Institute of Biomedical Sciences. The institute consists of six research centers, focusing on aging and developmental biology, cancer biology, cardiovascular research, human genetics and molecular pediatric diseases, oral biology, and vaccine biology and immunology.

Rochester faculty are pioneers in each of those areas, a point that was further highlighted this year with important advances in the study of Alzheimer's (see Special Report, Why Alzheimer's Patients Get Lost), vaccine development, and the genetic mechanisms of cancer, just to name a few.

Each center will consist of a cluster of 8 to 12 scientists and physicians supported by about 25 to 40 technicians. Prominent scientists have been named to lead five of the six centers, and a nationwide search is under way to fill other key slots.

"The institute will be home to some of the nation's foremost experts in a variety of medical specialties--including aging, heart disease, cancer, pediatrics, oral biology, and infectious diseases," says Jay Stein, senior vice president and vice provost for Health Affairs and chief executive officer of the Medical Center and Strong Health.

"We're building on an outstanding core of talent that already exists at the Medical Center in these fields," Stein says. "The result will be a world-class powerhouse of medical expertise here in Rochester."

Kornberg, who is now professor emeritus of biochemistry at Stanford University, is considered one of the century's most influential medical scientists. His discovery of the chemical steps that cells follow to replicate DNA paved the way for much of the biotechnological revolution of the past 30 years.

The institute's laboratories formally open this fall.

Faculty Honors

Janet Catherine Berlo, the Susan B. Anthony Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and professor of art and art history, received a 1999 Guggenheim Fellowship for her project on the graphic arts of the 19th-century Plains Indians.

Alice Conklin, associate professor of history, was awarded the William Koren Jr. Prize by the Society for French Historical Studies. The award is given annually for the most distinguished article in French history.

Susan W. Conkling, assistant professor of music education at the Eastman School, was named a 1999-2000 Pew Scholar of the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Thomas F. Cooley, professor of economics at the Simon School, has been named a fellow of the Econometrics Society, considered the most prestigious learned society in the field of economics.

Lowell A. Goldsmith, dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, received the 1999 Stephen Rothman Memorial Award of the Society for Investigative Dermatology for his scientific achievements.

Robert Griggs, professor and chair of the Department of Neurology, was named to the Institute of Medicine, a division of the National Academy of Sciences.

Robert Holmes, professor of philosophy, was named to the newly established Rajiv Gandhi Chair in Peace and Disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. Holmes, who retains his Rochester professorship, was selected for his work in ethical and political philosophy.

New Series Brings Authors to Campus

Students at the University have a new opportunity to hear renowned writers read from their works and talk about their craft.

The Donald R. Clark Enrichment Program in Contemporary Writing began this spring, bringing three well-known writers to campus, with promises of more in the future.

William Kennedy, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Ironweed, Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient, and Grace Paley, short story writer and essayist, were the first Clark readers.

The reading and lecture series was organized by Joanna Scott, professor of English and a novelist whose own work has been highly praised.

Each writer's visit includes a public reading on campus.

Researcher Develops New Display Technology

Images on computer screens and televisions may soon be clearer, more colorful, come in 3-D, and use less energy.

Sound utopian?

Not to Shaw H. Chen, professor of chemical engineering and materials science. His research team has developed a new class of optical materials that efficiently creates the kind of light needed for electronic displays without requiring additional energy.

The new materials create what is known as "circularly polarized light." The light is highly prized for its efficiency and its clarity, but until now has been difficult to produce on a mass scale.

"We're hoping to make circular polarization an option for display technology," Chen says.

Current electronic displays are inefficient because they waste leftover light that's lost in the conversion to polarized light, or light whose electric field flows only one way.

The new materials are stacks of molecular layers, each layer rotated slightly so that together the molecules form a clear spiral path for the light to follow.

Leftover light is recycled and reflected rather than absorbed and wasted, as in current technology.

Student Honors

Undergraduates received several prestigious national awards this year. The list includes:

Aaron Master '99, of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, an electrical engineering major in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and an applied music (saxophone) major at the Eastman School, was one of 10 students nationwide chosen to receive a Churchill Scholarship.

The scholarship, endowed by the Winston Churchill Foundation, provides support for one year of graduate level work at Churchill College in Cambridge University.

Students are chosen on the basis of their outstanding achievement in academic work, capacity for original and creative work, and their character, adaptability, and demonstrated concerns for the critical problems of society.

Jeremy Schott '99, a double major in religious studies and English from East Rochester, has been named a Jacob K. Javits Fellow and an honorary Mellon Scholar in the Humanities.

The Javits fellowship, named after the influential senator from New York, provides tuition support and a stipend to assist graduate students pursuing degrees in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The fellowship is renewable for up to four years.

Schott also was chosen for the prestigious Mellon fellowship, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and awarded by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Because of his selection as a Javits Fellow, Schott became an honorary Mellon Fellow.

Schott plans to pursue a doctorate at Duke University, studying religion in late antiquity with a focus on Christianity.

Candace Gildner '01, a biomedical engineering major from Rochester, and Matthew Polizzotto '00, an environmental science and music double major from Stow, Massachusetts, each received a Goldwater Scholarship.

They are two of 304 students nationwide selected to receive the scholarships, which were endowed by the U.S. Congress to honor the late Senator Barry Goldwater.

Imaging Students Get New Curriculum

Undergraduates at the University are leading the way when it comes to studying the science and technology of imaging. Thanks to a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, freshmen now have access to laboratory tools and facilities that were available only to graduate students a few years ago.

New courses focus on medical imaging, image science, visual science, visual computing, and digital imaging technologies. The first course in the new program was offered during spring semester 1999.

University administrators believe the program is the first of its kind designed to give undergraduates a cohesive understanding of a field that has exploded during the past few years.

The science of electronic imaging shows up in CT and MRI scans at hospitals, in digital map systems in new automobiles, in World Wide Web pages, and many other places.

Michael Kriss coordinates the program as associate director of the Center for Electronic Imaging Systems (CEIS).

The Places They Go

River Campus faculty lend their expertise to colleagues in several different countries, including some areas of the world that would have been off limits not too long ago.

Two examples:

Lisa Lopez Levers, chair of the counseling and human development program at the Warner School, and doctoral student Martin Lynch are working with Russian social service professionals to develop a curriculum and instructional materials to better train counselors in the former Soviet Union.

The two traveled to Novgorod, Russia, last summer to get a sense of the toll that country's economic troubles is taking on children and families.

Political science professor Melanie Manion had a rare inside look at the electoral process in China in January as part of the first-ever international delegation to observe township elections there.

The group was allowed to interview government officials freely, review electoral records, and visit villages. But the delegation reported irregularities in almost all stages of the election process.

Manion's delegation was invited by the People's Republic of China through The Carter Center, an international, nongovernmental organization founded by former President Jimmy Carter.

RPO and Eastman Students Make--
and Manage--Beautiful Music Together

From a prestigious seat in the string section to a less than glamorous desk job, say, in the ticket office, some Eastman graduate students are getting a unique introduction to orchestra life. Working in partnership with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Eastman School launched a first-of-its-kind program to give a small group of students professional experience in both performance and management.

Students chosen for the Orchestral Studies Program in Strings play in select concerts with the RPO and also work as interns with the administrative staff.

Ramon Ricker, a member of the RPO and an Eastman professor of saxophone, directs the Orchestral Studies Program. He says the new initiative can serve as a model for orchestral preparation and audience development.

"Orchestral training programs need to fine tune and focus the performing skill of young musicians while preparing them to be leaders in solving the problems of orchestras," Ricker says.

Officially launched in January, the Orchestral Studies Program is designed to give talented musicians coveted professional experience playing with a renowned orchestra. At the same time, students learn on-the-job skills dealing with educational programming, fundraising, personnel management, and other administrative issues.

About half a dozen string performers who already have bachelor of music degrees were selected on the basis of auditions for the first year of the program. The projected eventual enrollment is 30 students.

Students in the program take courses with Eastman faculty in orchestral repertoire and management, and can earn a certificate in orchestral studies, which can be taken with a master's degree or earned on its own.

For the RPO, the program bolsters the string section and adds much-needed help in administrative offices--without additional costs.

"The synergy created by regularly placing gifted and forward-thinking students of an internationally renowned music school with a nationally recognized orchestra will have a great impact on the classical music world," says Roger Daily, director of education and outreach for the RPO. "Locally, it will give Rochester the best that both institutions have to offer."

If successful, the program may be expanded to include partnerships with other orchestras.

The Simon 'Brand'

Simon School students are carving their own marketing niche in the nation's first program specializing in brand management for M.B.A.s.

Officially launched last fall, the program focuses on how marketers launch new brands, set prices, and position their brands against competitors.

A sub-concentration of Simon's marketing program, the new specialization mixes the academic and corporate worlds to better give students a hands-on sense of brand management as a career.

Dan Horsky, Benjamin L. Forman Professor of Marketing and marketing area coordinator, says the program will help Simon students further stand out from the competition.

"We strive to keep a pulse on the career goals of our students and better equip them for success," Horsky says.

In addition to an advisory panel with representatives from Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, and Citibank, the program also features a workshop that brings successful brand managers to campus to talk about their work and their strategies.

The Future of Health Is Soon

Imagine putting a bandage on a cut and having the bandage alert you to tiny bits of bacteria--and then telling you which antibiotics would best fight the infection.

Or, imagine that if you are diagnosed with early dementia or memory problems, you could put on a pair of "memory glasses" that would help to identify relatives and friends, or orient yourself on errands. The glasses would process visual cues and tell you who or what you are seeing.

Such futuristic devices are not as far off as many think, according to University researchers who officially launched the Center for Future Health this spring.

The center, a collaboration among the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and MIT's Media Lab, focuses on creating new, portable technologies for people to use in their own homes in preventing disease.

Center Director Philippe Fauchet, professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, says researchers are already exploring ways to use new technologies in interactive medical devices.

"We will create new medical technology, but on a personal scale," Fauchet says. "It will be technology you can trust and use every day without being bothered."

Alice Pentland, James H. Sterner Professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology, serves as medical director of the center.

She says the center's researchers are not focusing on what many people think of as "big medicine," with its emphasis on expensive machines in doctors' offices or in hospitals.

"We have a new vision of medicine, where people can assess their health in their own homes, and consumers have more control over their own health," Pentland says.

Engineers and physicians working with the center represent computer science, neurology, electrical and computer engineering, chemistry, psychiatry, community and preventive medicine, and other fields.

Fish Is Still Good Food

A nine-year study by University researchers has reeled in some reassuring news: Eating ocean fish carries no health risk from low levels of mercury.

The study, the most comprehensive ever undertaken of the issue, tracked the eating habits of the people of the Seychelles Islands, who eat fish nearly 12 times a week. That's about 10 times what the average United States citizen eats.

Even though the world's ocean fish contain slight amounts of mercury, the study showed no harmful effects for the people of the Seychelles, even for pregnant women and children.

"If someone who eats fish twice a day does not show effects from mercury exposure, it's unlikely that somebody who eats fish twice a week will be affected," said pediatric neurologist Gary Myers, who examined the children.

New Faces, New Posts

Bruce Jacobs, professor of political science and public policy, was named University dean for graduate studies. As dean, Jacobs oversees doctoral studies, chairs the University Council on Graduate Studies, oversees selection of the Sproull Fellows, and serves as the administration liaison with graduate student organizations. He's an expert on domestic social policy who joined the University faculty in 1973.

Cyril Meyerowitz, chair of the Eastman Department of Dentistry for the School of Medicine and Dentistry, has been named director of the Eastman Dental Center (which merged with the University in 1997). Meyerowitz joined the School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1976.

Amelia Tynan began her duties as the University's first chief information officer May 1. She also was named vice provost. In her new position, Tynan oversees strategic planning and operations of academic and administrative computing, network and Internet systems, and telecommunications. She had served as the University of Arizona's vice provost for information technology since 1994.

George H. VanderZwaag, a longtime athletic administrator at Princeton University, has been named director of athletics and recreation. He oversees an athletic department that includes 22 varsity intercollegiate sports as well as extensive recreational and intramural sports activities. He had held several athletic administration positions at Princeton after joining that staff in 1991.

Money? What Is It Good For?

Richard Ryan, professor in the Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, is discovering a bleak twist to American society's seemingly rampant pursuit of wealth and fame.

People whose goal in life is to be rich, or famous, or to have all the latest gadgets are more depressed and have more behavioral problems than those who seek more intrinsic goals.

"The more we seek satisfactions in material goods, the less we find them there," Ryan told The New York Times in a report on his recent work.

Working with Tim Kasser '94 (PhD), now a professor at Knox College, Ryan has completed several new studies that indicate not only does money not buy happiness, the pursuit of it may be detrimental to mental health.

The studies span international boundaries and cover different age groups. For people in the United States, Russia, Germany, and India, the result was the same.

"The satisfaction [of material good] has a very short half-life," Ryan says. "It's very fleeting."

Today's Lesson: Aristotle

He may not be quite as hot as Shakespeare, but Aristotle is making a comeback in education circles.

And Randall Curren, who holds joint appointments in the Warner School and in the College's Department of Philosophy, is leading the Peripatetic chorus.

Curren led a seminar for 15 teachers last summer based on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Politics.

The seminar, "Overcoming Conflict: Aristotle on Justice, Friendship, and Virtue," was underwritten through a $73,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, one of only 20 such grants awarded in philosophy by the NEH in 1998.

"Aristotle is now invoked in discussion of everything from community service requirements for high school students to classroom management, but teachers have little opportunity to make an in-depth study of the theory that has become so popularized in bits and pieces," Curren says.

Researchers Engineer New Plastics

A team led by Samson Jenekhe, professor of chemical engineering, has developed a way to make billions of plastic molecules organize themselves into sophisticated optical devices.

The process, known as "hierarchical self-assembly," could eventually create microscopic plastics that can grow themselves into a type of crystal that reflects and manipulates light.

Such "smart" crystals could be used for data storage, telecommunications, and other light-emitting systems.

The new work, published in the journal Science, carries on research Jenekhe and former graduate student Linda Chen conducted last year when they created the largest synthetic structures ever made by self-assembly. In the new work, the scientists developed ways to bring billions of those objects together.

"This is the next logical step in self-assembly," Jenekhe says.

In related work, a team led by Jenekhe received a $5 million grant from the Department of Defense to explore new types of plastics that can create and manipulate light and change colors on demand.

The five-year project--dubbed TOPS for Tunable Optical Polymer Systems--is aimed at creating and exploring plastic materials that use light to store, display, and manipulate information.

Let the Games Begin . . .

Students will soon have recreational and intercollegiate sports facilities that rank among the best in NCAA Division III, thanks to a $15 million renovation of the River Campus athletic complex begun this spring.

The renovation, scheduled to be completed in August 2000, involves a complete reconstruction of the interior of Alumni Gym and substantial improvements to the Palestra and other parts of the complex.

A new entrance, fitness facilities, locker rooms, coaches' offices, and racquet center are part of the project. The basketball court will be lengthened to bring it to current Division III standards.

At a ceremonial groundbreaking in May, Edmund A. Hajim '58, University trustee and chairman of the reconstruction campaign, announced that he had made a $2 million gift to the effort, bringing the campaign total to $10 million.

The campaign kicked off with a $5 million contribution from Robert B. Goergen '60, chairman of the board of trustees.

In recognition of the gifts, the Alumni Gymnasium will be named in Hajim's honor and the complex will be renamed the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center.

Faculty Honors

Donald Kane, assistant professor of biology, was one of 20 young scientists nationwide recognized by the Pew Charitable Trusts on the basis of their promising future as biomedical scientists. Kane was selected for his work as a developmental biologist and geneticist.

Bruce A. Kimball, professor at the Warner School, was awarded a 1999 Senior Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. Kimball teaches in the educational leadership program of the school.

Hong Li, assistant professor of nursing, was awarded the James G. Zimmer New Investigator Research Award by the American Public Health Association. The award recognizes Li's work on family care of hospitalized elders.

Kevin Parker, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, received the Joseph Holmes Pioneer Award from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

Seymour Schwartz, professor of surgery, was named to the Institute of Medicine, a division of the National Academy of Sciences.

Edward Thorndike, professor of physics and astronomy, was awarded the American Physical Society's W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Physics, one of the society's top awards.

David Williams, professor of brain and cognitive sciences, received the Tillyer Award from the Optical Society of America. The award recognizes Williams's influential research in vision science.

Commencing a New Chapter . . . .

Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress, charged the 149th graduating class to "always stand up for decency," as they make their way into the world.

Bronfman, chairman of The Seagram Company, delivered the Commencement address during a bright spring day ceremony on the Eastman Quadrangle. He also received an honorary degree.

Also during the ceremony for undergraduate and master's degree candidates, Jay T. Last '51, one of the original "Fairchild Eight" who helped found the modern silicon chip industry, received the Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal. The award is the University's highest alumni honor, given to a graduate who has achieved professional success while remaining committed to community service (see Alumni Review, Hutchison Medal Goes to Last '51).

Other honorees included Lewis E. Rowell '55E, '58E (PhD), a professor of music theory at Indiana University, and Morris P. Fiorina '72 (PhD), a professor of political science at Stanford University, who each received a Distinguished Scholar Award.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, gave the Commencement address to the School of Medicine and Dentistry and received an honorary degree from the school.

Charles O. Rossotti, commissioner of Internal Revenue, delivered the Commencement address to the Simon School graduating Class on June 13.

Altogether, 2,433 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees were awarded at the ceremonies.

'Rochester Collects': Art and More

While museums are known as repositories of great art, most collecting goes on behind the scenes by private people who quietly gather works because they love art and what it adds to their lives.

Such pieces are more likely to end up in living rooms than in show rooms.

Curators at the Memorial Art Gallery discovered how robust the collecting spirit is when they mounted the exhibition "Living with Art: Rochester Collects" last fall.

The exhibit featured 170 objects on loan to the museum from individual collectors from the area.

Works included an Alexander Calder mobile, as well as master prints by Rembrandt, Matisse, Dürer, and Frankenthaler.

Part of the museum's 85th anniversary observance, "Living with Art" also paid tribute to one of the gallery's first exhibitions. In 1914, the museum showcased works collected by some of Rochester's notables, including George Eastman and the Sibleys.

In addition to works by renowned artists, the 1998-99 exhibition featured a 150-year-old Shaker chair, an avant-garde bench, an antique weather vane, Nigerian sculptures, a Bedouin camel saddle, a suit of Japanese armor, a map drawn by George Washington, and other distinctive works.

Museum staff spent six months laying the groundwork for the exhibition. After looking at nearly 200 collections, they selected the 170 objects for display.

Refurbishing Rush Rhees

A quote from Cicero graces the fireplace of the Welles-Brown Room in Rush Rhees Library: "In secundis voluptas, in adversis perfugium."

The Latin translates to "In favorable times a pleasure, in adverse times a refuge."

Library administrators are taking a cue from the great Latin orator in their new efforts to transform the library into a source of pleasure for students and faculty.

The centerpiece is the "Rush Rhees Renaissance," a continuing campaign to refurbish the 69-year-old building's faded interior spaces, and to restore the library's special status as a center of intellectual life.

Ronald Dow, dean of River Campus Libraries, sees a link between the condition of the library and the state of intellectual vitality.

"Our challenge is to create new library spaces and to revitalize the libraries' tired-looking historic areas to create welcoming places where students can pursue their academic and intellectual interests out of the classroom," Dow said.

Officially begun last July, the Rush Rhees Renaissance already has had a major effect on the look of the historic building:

Beyond restoring physical spaces, a core goal of the renaissance is to make the library a vital part of academic life.

Some initiatives are a little lighthearted--for Halloween, the library staff hosted a "Scare Fair," complete with seasonal costumes--while others are more traditional, such as renewed efforts to host readings, lectures, and meetings between students and faculty.

Dow says library staff have noticed that more students are coming into the library as the transformation takes shape.

"Once they're here," he says, "students are exposed to all that a library is, the collections, the periodicals, the librarians, and to the pleasure of working on academic pursuits in an environment designed to encourage intellectual work."

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