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December 03, 2014

In Brief

Mellon Foundation grant to support Humanities Corridor

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has committed a matching grant of $500,000 that will establish an endowment for the University’s continued partnership in the Central New York Humanities Corridor.

Founded in 2006 with support from the Mellon Foundation, the corridor—focused on enhancing scholarship in the humanities—is an interdisciplinary collaboration involving Syracuse University, Cornell University, and Rochester—along with the schools of the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium.Corridor programs aim to bolster relationships, productivity, and reciprocity common to the region’s humanities community.

A $1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to the University in October 2013 helped create “Humanities Labs” at Rochester, which tackle large-scale problems in the digital humanities and involve research that brings together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates.

Warner professors to study new teacher performance test

Two Warner School professors, Kevin Meuwissen and Jeffrey Choppin, have received a one-year research grant from the Spencer Foundation to examine teaching candidates’ experiences with and perceptions of the new high-stakes performance test for beginning teachers known as edTPA New York and Washington states first implemented the test as a teacher certification requirement in 2013.

Developed by the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity, the edTPA project is one of the latest education reforms to focus on teacher quality. Thirty-three states are in the process of considering or adopting its use as a certification test. The assessment requires student teachers to submit videos of their practice, along with written lesson plans, reflections, and samples of student work, demonstrating that they can plan, execute, and assess instruction.

Simon rises in Bloomberg ranking of full-time MBA programs

The full-time MBA program at Simon Business School was one of the leading movers on the Bloomberg Businessweek ranking of the top full-time MBA programs. The school’s full-time MBA program is ranked 38th, a jump of 12 places from 50th in 2012.

Know a staff member who goes above and beyond?

Help recognize your outstanding colleagues as part of the University’s annual staff awards program.

Nominations are open through Feb. 13 for the Meliora Award, the Witmer Award for Distinguished Service, and the Staff Community Service Award. The Meliora Award recognizes staff members whose work performance over the preceding few years exemplifies the University’s motto, Meliora, through contributions and attributes in specific areas such as service enhancement, process improvement, or cost reduction. The Witmer Award is intended as a “lifetime achievement” award, recognizing staff members for their accomplishments, leadership, and dedication to the University over the course of their career. The Staff Community Service Award recognizes a single outstanding event or continuous contributions of nonmanagement staff to the University community (in a capacity other than their usual assignment) or to the greater Rochester community.

Full- and part-time active staff from any division are eligible. Complete details and nomination materials are available at

Medical Center receives $2.5 million for new translational PhD program

A new Medical Center PhD program, Infection and Immunity: From Molecules to Populations, will develop scholars who are adept with both bench research and population health.

The program is supported by $2.5 million from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and aims to bridge the gap between basic science advances and health improvements for the community at large. Read more at

Veteran and Military Family Services Office opens

The University’s new Veteran and Military Family Services Office opened on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, in 107 Wallis Hall.

The office’s primary focus is to provide support to veterans through a successful transition from military life to the classroom. The office is staffed by two full-time Veterans Association–certified officials, who will serve as liaisons between veterans and a number of services provided across campus.

“Currently there are 84 veteran students enrolled at the University—that’s a 50 percent increase since 2010,” said Jonathan Burdick, dean of admissions and financial aid, who noted that the numbers are expected to increase as more post–9/11 veterans return to civilian life. “We are proud to now provide veterans at the University with a centralized resource to better help them navigate the educational system and success after graduation.”

Find a ride, share a ride with Zimride

Faculty and staff may search for and connect with drivers or passengers in need of rides with Zimride, a new service from Parking and Transportation. It’s free to sign up with your NetID. Visit for details.

Open house planned for family therapy program

The Department of Psychiatry will host an informational open house about its master of science and postdegree certificate program in marriage and family therapy from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12. Applications are being accepted for the program, and interview day is set for Friday, Feb. 27. Contact or 275-2532 for details.

Employee discount offered for eTheory music course

The Institute for Music Leadership invites University employees to sign up for courses offered through its online store, Employees can use code UR50 to receive $50 off eTheory Live: Interactive Music Theory Classroom.

Shuttles available for River Campus Holiday Social

Faculty and staff are invited to celebrate the season during the annual River Campus Holiday Social on Tuesday, Dec. 16, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the May Room of Wilson Commons. 

Shuttle service from the Larry and Cindy Bloch Alumni and Advancement Center (East River Road), the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, the University Facilities Center, College Town (Celebration Drive), and Brooks Landing will be available. Shuttles will begin at 2 p.m. with initial pick-up at AAC and continuously run to and from the River Campus (Library Road) to all four locations until 5 p.m.

E-Cycle Day nets more than 7 tons of results

Items dropped off Oct. 24, for E-Cycle Day, the yearly mass recycling of unwanted electronics mostly included keyboards, computer monitors, out-of-date TVs, microwaves, and laptops. The items added up to divert about 15,000 pounds of electronic waste from the landfill. Read more about this year’s E-Cycle Day, at

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