Spirit of old Vienna returns at 29th annual Viennese Ball

WHAT: The University of Rochester’s Ballroom Dancing Club will bring dancing and mystery to the River Campus with this year’s masquerade themed Annual Viennese Ball. The event is open to the public.

TIME, DATE, PLACE: 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Oct. 25, in the May Room, located on the 4th floor of Wilson Commons, on the University of Rochester’s River Campus.

ABOUT: Students, faculty and community members join together to don their formal attire and masks to dance the night away at the annual Viennese Ball, sponsored by the University of Rochester’s Ballroom Dancing Club. At 7 p.m., a complimentary crash course in Viennese waltz will take place for those who would like to learn or brush up their skills before the ball. The event will commence at 8 p.m. and includes live performances from a string quartet of Eastman School musicians, a local Rochester dance troupe, and the Argentinian tango club. A contest will also take place for the best dressed dancer, and the winner will be rewarded with a free lesson series from the Ballroom Dancing Club.

TICKETS: Tickets are available at the Common Market in Wilson Commons. Tickets are $12 for University students, $15 for University faculty, staff and graduate students and $18 for the general public. Masks will be available for sale at the door for $2.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Email urballroom@gmail.com or call Common Connection at 585.275.5911

Laptop Orchestra brings creative fusion to the Fringe

If your body was an instrument, what would it sound like? This is one of the questions that David Heid ’13 attempts to answer with the Rochester Laptop Orchestra, an interactive exhibition that blends art and science.  The event, featuring two performances on Thursday, September 18th and Saturday, September 20th, is one of many showcases at this year’s Rochester Fringe Festival.

Inspired by performances at Princeton and Stanford, Heid’s computer-based compositions explore the ways that the digital and electronic sciences can intersect with music.  “This one’s different in the sense that it’s more interactive,” he said. Heid’s exhibition will allow the audience to be a part of the musical experience. The Laptop Orchestra promises to provide a multimodal, interactive experience that showcases the breadth of creativity and innovation that the University of Rochester has to offer.

Heid believes that the project well represents the focus of his studies of music education and electrical and computer engineering.  A former dual degree student at Eastman and the River campus, he is now a second year masters student pursuing a degree in musical acoustics and signal processing.  In many senses, the creation of the Laptop Orchestra is a fusion of Heid’s dual interests and various talents by showcasing the combination of music and engineering.  “Music has never felt academic enough for me,” he admitted. “This is a nice way to blend it in a way that it can be.”

Instead of conventional instruments, the “orchestra” makes use of computers and motion sensing controllers used by undergraduates to generate sound.  One piece involves a dancer from Ballet Performance Group creating sound through movement. Through a Wiimote and gesture recognition technology, dance moves are translated into music.  A similar piece allows a dancer to generate pre-recorded sound bites from the Yellowjackets according to specific steps on electronically wired tap shoes.  Another performance brings in the Plank Road North Elementary Drum Ensemble creating a composition of pre-recorded vocal percussion.

Heid’s event is just as interactive as it is collaborative, which differentiates it from the earlier digital orchestras.  One segment of the performance allows an audience member to control the rhythm of the piece through the use of a hacked Bop-It.  Another allows the audience to decide the progression of a musical landscape as produced by the campus Carillon Society.

One of the more personal pieces involves mapping viruses to music. Using data from translated genomes, Heid created compositions that function as musical representations of HIV and ebola, among other illnesses. Last spring, Heid was quarantined after the measles outbreak, which was an experience that put a strain on his academic momentum as a grad student.  Instead of viewing it as a setback, he used the experience as an opportunity, working with an epidemiologist to create the virus-themed pieces.

While the Laptop Orchestra is in many ways the apex of Heid’s academic career, the show is not entirely about him; the project actually brought in the knowledge and talent of over 40 different students. “I know I’m not an expert in everything, and that’s why I brought these people in,” Heid said. “At Rochester, we do great things in every discipline. With the Laptop Orchestra, we can do those things together.”

Proceeds from ticket sales will go to RocMusic collaborative, which offers classical and instrumental music lessons to children in the downtown Rochester area. Getting a musical start in Pennsylvania through a similar program, he hopes that this early opportunity program can provide children with the same access to the arts.

All in all, Heid hopes that the performances will bring attention to the many possibilities that music has to offer in the modern world. “There’s not a lot in the industry that tries to blend stuff like this; I want to get people thinking.” With the Rochester Laptop Orchestra, he’s sure to do just that.

The Rochester Laptop Orchestra will have two shows on Thursday, September 18th at 6:00PM and Saturday, September 20th at 2:30PM at the TheatreROCS Stage at Xerox Auditorium.

Congrats, Grads!

The Buzz wishes all the members of the Class of 2014 the best of luck as they head into the world!

With three days of ceremonies, activities, and special events marking commencement season, the University recognized graduating students and their families, honored faculty for their teaching, and celebrated the achievements of alumni and other honorees.

Catch all the commencement fun by visiting http://www.rochester.edu/commencement/2014/!

 

“The Rocky’s” Celebrate Campus Leadership

By Rei Ramos ’15
University Communications

Each spring, the Office of the Dean of Students and the Rochester Center for Community Leadership recognize undergraduate students and organizations that have made significant contributions to campus life. Nominated by faculty, staff, and peers, Student Life Award recipients represent diverse interests, talents, and accomplishments but are united in their strength in leadership, fervor for engagement in campus life, and their aim to be a positive influence on peers, all of which help the campus community become ever better.

This year, the awards, also referred to as the “The Rocky’s,” went to 20 undergraduates and two student organizations. “I think the winners represent a large demographic that follows their passions and gives back to others in all sorts of ways,” said Ed Feldman, associate director of leadership programs at the Rochester Center for Community Leadership and chair of the selection committee. “With over 200 organizations on campus, students have the resources and capacity to be part of something bigger than just themselves,” he added.  Feldman believes that the leadership opportunities on campus provide students with a means to create and promote positive social change in the immediate community and beyond.

2014-04-17_student_life_awards_13303Friends, family, and colleagues of the honorees were invited to an intimate awards reception, which also was attended by University administrators and campus leaders. All the winning students and organizations received engraved glass trophies and certificates.

Japanese Students’ Association was honored as this year’s Outstanding Student Organization. Founded in spring 2013, the group has rounded out its first year with events both cultural and philanthropic. In October, they hosted the Omatsuri Festival, offering the local community a glimpse (and taste) of the breadth of Japanese culture. In the spring, JSA collaborated with the Filipino American Students’ Association to host a Relief Concert to raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Founding club president and biology major George Iwaoka ’16 said that JSA’s first year was focused and geared towards impactful programming.  The group aims not only to celebrate but also share Japan’s culture with people of all backgrounds. “Our goal is to provide an opportunity for the entire campus community to experience Japanese culture as more than just sushi, anime, or samurai,” said Iwaoka. In the coming years, Iwaoka hopes to see the group grow in size and prominence, comparable to other cultural groups like CSA or ADITI, in order to offer bigger programs and expand their reach.

Freshman Senator and Class Council President Stephen Wegman ‘17 received this year’s Award for Freshman 2014-04-17_student_life_awards_13316Leadership. “I think I learned most from my participation in SA Government,” said Wegman. “As a freshman senator, it can be very difficult to gain the respect of the more experienced senators at the table. By seeing so many diverse examples of effective management, I was able to model my leadership style after those peers who inspired me the most.” Taking after the common idiom, “lead by example,” Wegman hopes to encourage his peers to be more active in civic leadership, as offered by the Students’ Association.

Wegman plans to not only maintain but also increase his involvement with the SA Government in the coming years. “I hope to look back at my undergraduate experience and see my involvements as times of growth through which I helped others.” The 2014 Student Life Award recipients are as follows:

 

Individual Awards:   adulley

Andrew Fried Prize: Kelvin Adulley

Established by friends and family in 1961 in memory of Andrew Norman Fried, class of 1961. This prize is awarded to the man who, upon completion of his freshman year, has shown outstanding qualities of character, superior moral judgment, and interest in serving his fellow students.

 

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Delno Sisson Prize: Yuki Gonzalez

In 1957, this award was established by a gift from Delno Sisson, class of 1966. This prize is awarded annually to the freshman who has shown the most improvement not only in academic work, but also in adjusting to college life and the student body.

 

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Award for Freshman Leadership: Stephen Wegman

This award recognizes an exceptional man or woman of the freshman class who has motivated his or her fellow classmates to become actively involved in the campus community.

 

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Eli & Mildred Sokol Prize: Eudora Dickson

This award was established in 1985 by a gift from Eli and Mildred Sokol, class of 1933. This prize is awarded to a sophomore who has emerged as a leader who can be expected to contribute significantly to the welfare of his or her fellow students in the next two years.

 

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Award for Campus Contributions: Mary Baron (left) and Katherine Wegman (right)

Two awards, one each presented to a junior and senior class member who has made significant contributions to the University community, including, but not limited to, campus life, academic achievement and leadership, and community service. The award winner will have promoted and demonstrated excellence in all aspects of their college experience.

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Seth H. & Harriet Terry Prize: Matias Piva

Established in 1928 as a gift from Seth H. Terry, class of 1883, in memory of his parents. This award is given to the male member of the senior class who, by his industry, character and honorable conduct, has done the most for the life and character of the undergraduate community.

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Percy Dutton Prize: Julian Lunger

This prize was established in 1946 as a gift from Percy Dutton. This award is given to the male member of the graduating class who has excelled in “wholesome, unselfish and helpful influence” among his fellow students.

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Award for Outstanding Fraternity and Sorority Leadership: Harini Morissety

This award recognizes the positive contributions fraternities and sororities make to the campus community. It is awarded to a fraternity or sorority member who has led with integrity within their fraternal organization while also making significant contributions to the greater campus community.

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Simeon Cheatham Award: Madison Wagner

Established in the 1970s by the Office of the Dean of Students to recognize outstanding University of Rochester students. This award is given to a student who has outstanding qualities in devotion to community service and to growth and development of children.

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Rob Rouzer Award for Excellence in Student Government Leadership: Shilpa Topudurti

 

Established in honor of his 28 years of service to the University of Rochester, the Rob Rouzer Award is conferred annually to a student affiliated with either of the three branches of the Students’ Association Government who has shown immense integrity and perseverance in striving to improve student life and welfare

 

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Logan Hazen Award for Outstanding Contributions to Residential Life: Alysha Alani (left) and Barra Madden(right)

This award is given annually to the student who has “made significant contributions to the community and experience of students living in undergraduate residence halls. This student, through his or her actions, leadership, and innovation has promoted community through respect, fairness, and inclusion.”

 

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Award for Athletic Leadership: Lila Cantor

This award recognizes the positive contributions athletes make to the campus community. It is awarded to a student athlete who has demonstrated leadership within their club or varsity sport while also making significant contributions to other aspects of campus life.

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Presidential Award for Community Service: Kyra Bradley

Established by the Dean of Students in 1990 to recognize University students who are committed to community service. Given to a senior for outstanding participation and leadership in service to the community beyond the campus, this award recognizes a student who has worked selflessly and effectively in addressing social causes. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, improving literacy, reducing hunger and hopelessness, providing legal or medical assistance to the needy, and serving as a mentor.

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Entrepreneurship Award: Harshita Venkatesh

The award for entrepreneurship is given to a student, or group of students, who has turned an idea into a venture that benefited others. The recipient will have demonstrated individual initiative and knowledge through awareness of markets and attention to the needs of others.

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Michael Lowenstein Memorial Award: Alexandra Poindexter

This award, named for Michael Lowenstein, class of 1960 is presented to the University of Rochester River Campus undergraduate who deepens student, faculty, and community awareness of existing social, racial, or political inequities. This undergraduate through his/her words and actions has endeavored to promote the ideals which Michael cherished. Michael sought to give a fresh view of things around us, to focus upon issues, to probe deeply using fact and objectivity and to open a dialogue with the community to find some answers.

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Transfer Student Award: Sophie Rusnock

This award, recognizing the unique role of transfer students to the campus community, is given to a student who transferred with sophomore standing or above, and has completed a full year of study at the University. The recipient will have demonstrated a quick, successful, and seamless transition to the institution and will have taken full advantage of his or her time spent at the University.

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Simeon Cheatham Award: Madison Wagner

Established in the 1970s by the Office of the Dean of Students to recognize outstanding University of Rochester students. This award is given to a student who has outstanding qualities in devotion to community service and to growth and development of children.

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The Communal Principles Award: Jon Macoskey

Established by the Office of the Dean of Students during the 2011-2012 academic year, this award is given annually to the student(s) or organization that best promote(s) the Communal Principals, as adopted by The College. These principles include Fairness, Freedom, Honesty, Inclusion, Respect, and Responsibility. One of these six principles will be highlighted annually and the recipient will have demonstrated qualities that exemplify the principles and/or created programming and activities related to this year’s Communal Principle:Honesty.

 

Student Organization and Programming Awards:

 

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Excellence in Programming: Class Council 2014/Winter Senior Week

This Excellence in Programming Award recognizes a student organization or group, either formal or informal, for its exceptional creativity, planning, and execution of a University program. Criteria upon which decisions are based include appeal to a broad cross-section of the University community, originality, and participation by members of the organization during all phases of the effort.

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Outstanding Student Organization Award: Japanese Students’ Association

Awarded to a student organization that has gone beyond the bounds of their membership by helping to create a positive campus environment for all students.

Conference A Huge ‘Grand Jeté’ Forward For Student Dancers

By Quinlan Mitchell ’14

From March 12 to 16, students from the University of Rochester Program of Dance and Movement really got things moving. Along with program director Missy Pfohl-Smith and four faculty members, 14 UR undergrads participated in the Northeast regional conference of the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) held this year at The College at Brockport.

The UR dance program has taken students to the conference three years in a row, largely due to the continued support of the Office of the Dean of the College, Dean Richard Feldman. Through generous sponsorship, Dean Feldman has allowed students of dance to take a huge ‘grand jeté’ forward as dancers and as people.

“Attending ACDFA was a pivotal experience in my college career, I’m so grateful to have connected with dancers whom I could have only met through ACDFA,” saysDan Hoffman ’15.

In return for the opportunity to pursue their art, dance students are showing their appreciation in a report to be presented to Dean Feldman, commenting on their experiences at ACDFA. Lauren Laibach, a senior at the U of R, has attended three ACDFA conferences.  Laibach says, “It’s so important for students from the UR program of Dance and Movement to broaden their horizons in terms of different approaches to dance and performance, and that’s exactly what ACDFA offers us.” Laibach also likes that ACDFA allows to her to watch a number of unique dance performances, something she loves to do.

Taking place on an annual basis, ACDFA regional conferences are part of a national initiative to promote dance as a performing art and nurture choreographic expression in college students. Dancers from all over attend conferences to engage in “three days of performances, workshops, panels, and master classes taught by instructors from around the region and country,” according to the ACDFA website.

Falling this year on spring break, the conference was not a chance for students to kick back and relax. Each day they participated in four master classes, running all day from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with a lunch break in the middle. After classes students also had the option of attending the formal, adjudicated concert for undergraduate pieces, often calling it a night around 10 pm.

This year the Program of Dance and Movement presented three student pieces at the conference, two for adjudication and one at the informal student performance. Dan Hoffman ’15 choreographed, “Meetings Along the Edge,” Jessie Hogestyn ’14 choreographed “Sounds of Silence,” and students enrolled in Dance Ensemble presented their piece, “Quantum Truths.”  Hogestyn’s piece also was featured on campus, at the Louvre Performance Ensemble’s “Bravado,” on April 5.

On campus, more student works from the Program of Dance and Movement also were featured at the student choreography concert, “Architectures,” as well as the outdoor concert “National Water Dances,” both held on April 12.

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Not Your Average Run

By Alayna Callanan ’14
University Communications

As a graduating senior at U of R, it was on my bucket list to eat a Garbage Plate at the original Nick Tahou’s. How better to do it than by participating in Sigma Phi Epsilon’s 11th annual Nick Tahou’s Run?

Now, I am not much of a runner. I ran one season of cross-country in high school but have not run consistently since. Only twice have I ever run more than a 5K, so even without factoring in the food, the 4.4 mile run was daunting. Even worse, my stomach is fairly sensitive; I never eat fast food and try to avoid greasy, unhealthy food at all costs. However, something about Sig Ep’s run was calling to me.

For anyone not familiar with a Garbage Plate, it is combination of meat, carbs and hot sauce. In this case, two cheeseburgers over heaping piles of home fries and mac salad, smothered in Nick’s signature hot sauce along with two slices of bread, which were all donated by Nick Tahou’s. Normally, the task of running and eating is split by a team of two or three people, but I was feeling crazy enough to undertake the event without aid.

The pride of becoming an Iron Woman, running the 2.2 miles to the original Nick Tahou’s, eating an entire Garbage Plate singlehandedly, and running back, was appealing in a bizarre way.  I must not have been the only one to feel this way! Nearly 50 participants, including many Iron Men and Iron Women, braved the “balmy” Rochester day with weather hovering around freezing and occasional flurries and strong winds on Saturday, April 5. It was a tough challenge physically, but the mental game was much worse. I could not imagine doing the race alone, so I enlisted Miriam Grigsby ’17 to pursue the Iron Woman challenge alongside me. Without each other’s support, we would not have been able to finish in an hour and six minutes; together we were able to keep each other motivated, run’s both ways, and suppress the overwhelming urge to spew.

Better yet, all proceeds of the race benefitted the Mt. Hope Family Center! The Mt. Hope Family Center works with the Clinical and Social Psychology Department to build strong families by providing intervention and prevention therapies to at-risk children and families.

This race is certainly not for the faint of heart… or stomach, but I would highly recommend it to anyone considering participating in the future! While supporting a great cause, I had a fantastic and highly memorable day. One less thing to do on my shrinking list of things to do before Commencement! I am sure the Class of 2014 can sympathize with the excitement and dread of May 18. So if you are one of those seniors who still has not consumed a Garbage Plate, get on it! The clock is ticking.

And, here’s a special shout out to Jane Clinger ’16 who was the first solo competitor to finish at an impressive time of 44:20! (Depending on how fast she ate, that’s about a 7-minute mile!)

Watch WROC-TV’s story about the event here!

Time to Make A Splash: Seven Head to Indy

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Seven members of the women’s swimming and diving team at the University of Rochester – six swimmers and one diver – will compete at the NCAA Division III National Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana from March 19-22.

This is Rochester’s largest group of NCAA swimming qualifiers in 20 years – since six women competed in the 1993-94 championships. Those six women scored 125 team points and Rochester finished eighth nationally. It is the best team finish in school history.

The six NCAA swimming competitors are junior Lauren Bailey (Ossining, NY/Ossining HS), sophomore Vicky Luan (South Surrey, Canada/Semiahmoo Seminary), senior Karen Meess (Hamburg, NY/Frontier HS), freshman Emily Simon (Olean, NY/Portville HS), freshman Khamai Simpson (Cutler Bay, FL/Coral Reef HS), and freshman Alex Veech (Binghamton, NY/Binghamton). The diver is freshman Danielle Neu (Hammondsport, NY/Bath Haverling HS).

Bailey, who was the Liberty League Women’s Swimmer of the Year for the second straight year (awarded in December), will compete in the 100 yard butterfly, the 200 yard butterfly, and swim on all three relays: the 200 yard medley relay, the 200 yard freestyle relay, and the 400 yard medley relay.

Luan, who was the 2012-13 Liberty League Rookie of the Year, will swim on all three relays – the 200 yard medley, relay, the 200 yard freestyle relay, and the 400 yard medley relay.

Meess will swim the 200 yard backstroke, and compete with the 200 yard medley relay and the 400 yard medley relay.

Simon and Simpson will swim on the 200 yard freestyle relay. Veech will compete in the 100 yard breaststroke, on the 200 yard medley relay, and the 400 yard medley relay.

Neu will compete on both the one-meter and three-meter diving boards. She already has a taste of NCAA competition. She earned her berth in Indianapolis after competing at the NCAA Regional Diving Meet at Rochester Institute of Technology on February 28 and March 1. She was one of seven divers selected from the meet at RIT.

Rochester has its first NCAA swimming competitors since the 2006-07 season. The relays are reaching a bit of a benchmark. These are the first women’s relay teams to compete at nationals since the 1994-95 season.

The top eight finishers in an event – either individual events or relays – are designated as All-Americans. Those who finish 9th through 16thare designated as Honorable Mention All-Americans.

In two of the seven swimming events, Rochester has a top-eight seeding.  Bailey is seeded sixth in the 100 yard butterfly after her season’s best time of 0:55.83. The 200 yard medley relay is seeded sixth as well with a time of 1:44.46. The swimmers on that relay are (alphabetically) Bailey, Luan, Meess, and Veech.

The 200 yard freestyle relay is seeded 11th with a time of 1:35.20 (Bailey, Luan, Simon, Simpson). The 400 yard medley (Bailey, Luan, Meess, and Veech) is seeded 16th with a time of 3:50.50.

Veech is seeded 20th in the 100 yard breaststroke (1:04.91) and Meess is seeded 20th in the 200 yard backstroke (2:02.74).

Bailey and Luan will swim in the 50 yard freestyle and on the 400 freestyle relay with Simon and Simpson. Meess will also swim in the 100 yard backstroke. NCAA guidelines permit this because those swimmers were already selected for other events and they achieved a provisional qualifying time in the extra events.

The best finish by an individual Rochester women’s swimmer at nationals is third place. Irene “Patty” Rupp achieved that in the 1984-85 season (in the 100 yard backstroke) and in the 1985-86 season (in the 200 yard butterfly). She earned her bachelor’s degree in Molecular Genetics in 1987 and graduated with an M.D. from the University’s Medical School in 1991.

Rochester’s current NCAA contingent have challenging academic majors:
Bailey – Chemical Engineering
Luan – Film & Media Studies
Meess – Biomedical Engineering
Neu – Chemical Engineering
Simon – Biology
Simpson – Health, Behavior & Society
Veech – Psychology

GlobeMed presents IMPACT, 2nd Annual Art Gala

By Rachel Goldstein ’13
University Communications

What is your impact on the local community? How do your actions impact the world? GlobeMed, an undergraduate organization at the University of Rochester, asks these salient questions of the Rochester community with its second annual art gala, IMPACT.

The public exhibition, presenting juried artwork for viewing and for sale, will be held at the Art Museum of Rochester, 610 Monroe Ave. on December 6 with an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests can expect a showcase of Rochester talent–great art, musical entertainment, refreshments, a raffle featuring products from local businesses, as well as an opportunity to learn more about what GlobeMed does abroad and in Rochester. There is a suggested five dollar donation.

The gala is part of an on-going fundraising campaign for GlobeMed’s partnering organization, Kallpa Iquitos, a grassroots nonprofit aiming to empower youth and enhance opportunities through youth development projects in Iquitos, Peru.

“We want our fundraisers to reflect the values of our partner while also engaging the Rochester community–not just UR students, but the community at large,” says Art Gala co-coordinator, Alysha Alani ’15. The gala was pioneered last year as a way to tie Kallpa Iquitos into the local picture. “They use art as a public messaging forum,” explains Alani, “a way to promote healthy lifestyles and empower the community.”

GlobeMed, a group that addresses health equity and social justice, has partnered with Kallpa Iquitos since 2010 when founders Anupa Gewali ’12 and Rohini Bhatia ’13 applied to be a chapter. Part of a national organization comprised of 55 groups in total, the GlobeMed chapter at the University is working to achieve global health equity through local efforts and long-term partnerships abroad.

Kallpa Iquitos and GlobeMed co-construct a memorandum of understanding, which outlines how much money GlobeMed can commit to raising and how that money will be used. “We believe that Kallpa is an expert on the community they work and live in,” says Alani. “They know best how to sustainably address these self-identified issues and how GlobeMed can best use our resources as University students–not only financially, but time and knowledge–to help.”

Kallpa Iquitos is currently focused on empowering youth to take ownership of their communities through establishing youth centers and facilitating the development of academic enrichment programming, sexual health classes, and employment opportunities, among other projects. They are currently working with nine neighborhoods within the Pampachica area of Iquitos.

Locally, GlobeMed engages in community service and strives to educate the Rochester community about public health issues and disparities. “We cannot turn a blind eye to marginalized communities,” says Alani, “whether they are in our own backyard or 3,000 miles away.”

GlobeMed held their 2nd annual 5K walk in partnership with two Rochester non-profits in October 2013. They are planning their 3rd annual benefit dinner in mid-February, last year’s theme being “Hope in Health: Youth in Action.” Additionally, GlobeMed hopes to organize an educational debate on public health topics for the spring semester. Past events have included a panel discussion on the Affordable Care Act that featured a public health professor, physician, theologian, and economist, as well as a debate on cultural relativism and family planning co-sponsored by the debate team.

“I especially value the educational curriculum that GlobeMed incorporates,” Alani explains, “topics such as why health is a human right, the history of global health efforts, and models of foreign aid. It is rare to find a group of students as passionate and willing to learn.”

Alani attended two GlobeMed conferences in the past year–one regional and one national–that bring together university chapters and GlobeMed alumni. They were a reminder of the immense tasks at hand, but also the small changes that can go a long way.

“I am continually proud and impressed,” Alani states, “with what a group of undergraduates can do when we put our minds to it.”

For more information about the gala, visit urglobemedartgala.tumblr.com, e-mail at urglobemedartgala@gmail.com, or see the event Facebook page

 

 

Optics Students Win $10K at Pre-Seed Workshop

For the past 10 years, High Tech Rochester’s annual Pre-Seed Workshop has provided inventors, entrepreneurs, and technology professionals with resources for quickly assessing their specific market opportunities and identifying the next steps to be taken in creating a start-up business around their technology innovation.

On Friday, Nov. 1 at the conclusion of this year’s Pre-Seed Workshop, five current and former University of Rochester Optics students found themselves the recipient of such resources. The student-driven team Ovitz was presented with the Excell Challenge Award of $10,000, given by Excell Partners, a Rochester venture capital firm.

Working with technology developed at the Flaum Eye Institute, Ovitz is hoping to commercialize a portable eye diagnosis instrument that is smaller, cheaper and more accurate than existing devices and is especially suited for use among children. They were chosen because their project was best suited to Excell’s criteria and at a point where the new venture would benefit from an outside investment.

The Ovitz team members are senior Felix Kim, junior Pedro Vallejo-Ramirez, doctoral students Aizhong Zhang and Len Zheleznyak, and Samuel Steven (’13). Both Steven and Zheleznyak are enrolled in the Technical Entrepreneurship and Management (TEAM) master’s program.

“We congratulate Ovitz and all of the start-up innovators and entrepreneurs participating in the 2013 Pre-Seed Workshop and expect to hear big things from them in the future,” said Theresa Mazzullo, chief executive officer of Excell Partners, Inc. “Given our mission of providing pre-seed and seed stage financing to high-tech start-up companies in the Upstate New York region, we felt we could give a boost to the start-up idea showing the most potential for commercialization as developed and presented at this workshop.”

Designed as a hands-on program, not a lecture series, “the Pre-Seed Workshop involves highly focused activities and exercises directed toward determining if a technology-based business concept has high potential for commercial success,” says the workshop’s organizer, Mike Riedlinger, High Tech Rochester’s Technology Commercialization Manager.

More than 100 people participated in the 2013 Pre-Seed Workshop: 13 teams (culled down from 18 applications), including teams from the University of Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester, and the Rochester community at large. The Workshop involved 32 coaches, contributors, and subject matter experts, and the six investors and industry experts who served as feedback panelists.

This isn’t the first time the Ovitz business plan has found success. It also took first place in the Forbes Entrepreneurial Competition and third place in the Mark Ain Business Model Competition this past spring. The students are now looking for NGOs who can put their device to use to benefit people in underdeveloped countries.

Article courtesy of High Tech Rochester. To read their full press release, visit http://htr.org/excell-partners-awards-10000-start-team-high-tech-rochester%E2%80%99s-annual-pre-seed-workshop

Eating Globally and Locally – at Danforth

By Melissa Greco Lopes
Univ. Communications

During Global Local Dinner, students at the University of Rochester sampled Sambusak pitas, Aloo Dum spiced potato stew, and pulled pork tostada, three very different dishes with one main ingredient. Each entrée was made to showcase food purchased from local farmers and producers. The dinner, which is a capstone event during the University’s Local Foods Week, was held on Tuesday, Nov. 12, in Danforth Dining Center.

Now in its eighth year, Local Foods Week spreads awareness of Rochester’s initiatives to support local produce and provide sustainable food options. Over the last decade, the University has made a concerted effort to bolster its commitment by expanding its partnerships with vendors and producers. Today, nearly 40 percent of everything sold in the University’s dining facilities is sourced, manufactured, or packaged from more than 40 vendors across New York State. University partners range from Upstate Farms Cooperative in West Seneca to the Baker Street Bread Company on Park Avenue.

While Local Foods Week typically spotlights autumn entrées, this year chefs Keith Rosengren and Chris Cameron planned a menu that also celebrated International Education Week, which promotes ways students can internationalize their educational experiences. The result: Chinese chicken lettuce wraps using bibb lettuce from Bolton Farms, French cauliflower au gratin, and Belgium pumpkin waffles with local fruit compote, among other dishes.

Representatives from the Pierogie Guy showcased Polish deconstructed Galumpkis stew with cheddar potato pierogies and the owners of Le Petit Poutine food truck brought their Canadian specialty to the grill. Additionally, 3 Square Kitchen, a local foods distributor, and Buffalo-based Rich’s Products were on hand to speak with students about their products.

The Global Local dinner also featured tinikling dancers from the Filipino American Students’ Association and a performance by members of the Korean Percussion Group, among other entertainment.

Video courtesy of Dawn Wendt and photo courtesy of Blake Silberberg.