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In the Headlines

June 2015

New York Times (June 5)

A Crisis at the Edge of Physics

By Adam Frank and Marcelo Gleiser
planet and expanse of space and starsDO physicists need empirical evidence to confirm their theories? You may think that the answer is an obvious yes, experimental confirmation being the very heart of science. But a growing controversy at the frontiers of physics and cosmology suggests that the situation is not so simple. A few months ago in the journal Nature, two leading researchers, George Ellis and Joseph Silk, published a controversial piece called “Scientific Method: Defend the Integrity of Physics.” They criticized a newfound willingness among some scientists to explicitly set aside the need for experimental confirmation of today’s most ambitious cosmic theories — so long as those theories are “sufficiently elegant and explanatory.” Despite working at the cutting edge of knowledge, such scientists are, for Professors Ellis and Silk, “breaking with centuries of philosophical tradition of defining scientific knowledge as empirical.”

Adam Frank, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Rochester, and Marcelo Gleiser, a professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College, are co-founders of NPR’s 13.7 Cosmos and Culture blog.

CBS Sports (June 24)

WATCH: The optical illusion that makes it so hard to hit a curveball

pitcher throwing a baseballSeeing the spin is much easier said than done, of course, especially because our eyes and our brains tend to play tricks on us. This video, which was put together by a group of University of Rochester researchers, demonstrates a phenomenon known as the "curveball illusion," which basically tricks hitters into thinking a curveball is dropping quicker than it is.

(Also reported in: Vox, Tech Times, )

Wall Street Journal (June 8)

Minneapolis Fed's Kocherlakota to Join University of Rochester Faculty in 2016

Federal Reserve logo and smiling manNarayana Kocherlakota, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, will join the faculty of the University of Rochester in upstate New York next year. The regional reserve bank and the university said Monday that he will become the Lionel W. McKenzie Professor of Economics effective Jan. 1, 2016.

(Also reported in: The New York Times, Bloomberg, Chicago Tribune, CNBC, Newsday, Yahoo! News, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, The Bond Buyer, Reuters, BayouBuzz, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Inside Higher Ed, Dallas Morning News, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Elkhart Truth, INFORUM, St. Cloud Times,, Daily Republic, Twin Cities Magazine,

New York Times (June 6)

Medical Marijuana Feeds Familiar Hopes of Renewal Around New York State

marijuane with an Rx logoNew York's new medical marijuana program has drawn the interest of several major hospitals, which have formed alliances with aspiring growers to try to make the drug accessible to their patients. Friday was the deadline for companies to apply to become one of up to five licensed medical marijuana producers and distributors in the state. Peter Robinson, chief operating officer of the University of Rochester Medical Center, said that the medical center had entered into talks, not contracts, with any companies it supported, but that the center was “positively encouraged” it would have “relationships going forward if they get one of the licenses.” He said Rochester Medical Center would not have an on-site dispensary, because of difficulties with having for-profit activity inside of a nonprofit medical center.

(Also reported in: Democrat and Chronicle, Auburn Citizen, Elmira Star-Gazette, Finger Lakes Times, MMJ Observer, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

United Press International (June 17)

Life stress negatively affects poor children's cognitive development

little boy sits on step with head bowedLow-income children exposed to unstable family environments or insensitive caregiving at age of 2 are at increased risk of cognitive delays by age 4, a new study shows. "We found that children's cortisol levels remained relatively stable across the three years," said Jennifer H. Suor, a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Rochester, in a press release. "And we discovered that exposure to specific forms of family adversity when children were 2 years old predicted their cortisol profile, which in turn was linked with notable differences in children's cognitive functioning at age 4." "Our study shows that children's cortisol activity and the experience of specific family adversities may be key processes that predict cognitive development for children from low-income backgrounds," said Melissa L. Sturge-Apple, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Rochester and a member of the research team.

(Also reported in: Channel News Asia, Fox News, WXXI PBS News, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, E-Science News, Psych Central, Big News Network, Microfinance Monitor, Scicasts, The Epoch Times)

The Wall Street Journal (May 31)

U.S. Drug Shortages Frustrate Doctors, Patients

empty pill bottles
The BCG shortage followed a 2012 mold infestation that halted production for more than two years at an aging factory in Toronto owned by France’s Sanofi SA. The drug’s only other manufacturer for the U.S., Merck & Co., has recently suffered production delays of its own. Some of the thousands of patients who depend on BCG have resorted to tracking online message boards, calling hospitals and traveling hundreds of miles to find supplies. Some patients have gone without BCG while others have received less effective alternatives. “There are patients who aren’t getting optimal therapy right now,” says Dr. Edward M. Messing, a urologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y.

(Also reported in: MSN, 4 Traders)

CNBC (May 29)

Pushing Medicare into the digital age

medicare cardOn July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law to ensure that older Americans could receive health care at a time when half did not. However, as Medicare approaches its 50th birthday, the program is beginning to show its age. Medicare, the federal health-insurance program for Americans over 65, currently has 53 million beneficiaries and by 2025 will have 70 million — one out of every five Americans. Medicare expenditures, which now exceed $500 billion, are projected to grow even more rapidly and reach nearly $900 billion by 2025 to meet the demand. Yet, even today, many Medicare beneficiaries cannot access the care they need and frequently have to rely on expensive, inconvenient and impersonal institutional care rather than patient-centered home care which is cheaper and more convenient. Medicare's reimbursement policies have been slow to incorporate rapid advances in technology (e.g., point of care diagnostics) and telecommunications (e.g., video conferencing).
Commentary by Ray Dorsey, a doctor and professor of neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Follow him on Twitter @dhealth2015.

(Also reported in: Yahoo 7 News )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (June 12)

Jobs galore: Rochester the best city to find employment

downtown RochesterMove over, Grand Rapids. This year Forbes named Rochester the best city in the nation to find a job. As of 2014, Rochester's top employers were the University of Rochester/Strong Health, Wegmans Food Markets Inc., and the Rochester General Health System, which together employ over 44,000 people.

(Also reported in: Rochester Business Journal)

NPR (June 16)

Why The Pope's Stand On Climate Change Matters

by Adam Frank

pope under a rainy umbrellaThings are about to get really interesting in the long-stalled public discussion on climate change. This Thursday, Pope Francis and the Vatican are set to release a major statement on climate change (a draft was leaked yesterday). In a papal letter to the world’s bishops, called an encyclical, Pope Francis is expected to forcefully argue that human activity has crossed the safe operating limits of the Earth. In addition, the letter is expected to make the case that the weight of the suffering caused by such planetary-scale changes are likely to fall on the world’s poor.

Adam Frank is a co-founder of the 13.7 blog, an astrophysics professor at the University of Rochester, a book author and a self-described "evangelist of science." You can keep up with more of what Adam is thinking on Facebook and Twitter: @adamfrank4.

(Also reported in: Oregon Public Broadcasting )

Fox News (June 26)

Want Big Data to Help Your Marketing Team? Hire a Data Scientist.

Earlier this year, the White House hired its first-ever US Chief Data Scientist to help the government harness the power of innovation and big data to better serve the American people. Shortly thereafter, the University of Rochester assembled a team of top tech leaders to advise the University’s new Institute for Data Science. In private businesses as well, leaders are ensuring that skilled data experts fill the new hire roster and are investing in their talent. Results from a Burtch Works employment survey show that both demand and salaries for data scientists have been steadily rising over the past few years.

The Guardian (June 23)

11 low-cost ways to combat stress

How to manage stress effectively is one of life’s great challenges – for example our survey of public and voluntary sector professionals found that 93% said they are stressed at work either all, some, or a lot of the time. While it seems the world is still short of a quick fix, here are some cheap and effective activities that can help you to manage stress. 2. Gaming Gaming can improve your decision-making skills, according to cognitive neuroscientists at the University of Rochester in New York, and researchers in New Zealand have discovered that it can help combat depression.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (June 4)

UR will head up $10 million OCD study

Scientists at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry have been awarded a $10 million federal grant to lead a study about obsessive-compulsive disorder. The goal of the grant from the National Institute of Mental Health is to improve the understanding of the brain networks that play a central role in this disorder and to develop new treatments.

(Also reported in: WXXI, Rochester Business Journal, Elmira Star-Gazette)

Fox News (June 15)

Exercise, diet or both may protect against excess pregnancy weight

Women who take part in exercise, diet programs or a combination of the two during pregnancy can prevent excessive weight gain, according to a fresh review of past research. While the new study generally did not show fewer complications in the diet and exercise group, Dr. Loralei Thornburg told Reuters Health that it's good that there was no increase in complications. "This was very reassuring that there wasn’t an increased risk of preterm birth with moderate exercise," said Thornburg, a high-risk pregnancy expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

(Also reported in: Reuters, Philly Voice)

U.S. News & World Report (June 25)

Despite SCOTUS Ruling, Challenges Remain for Obamacare

The most recent attack designed to unravel President Barack Obama’s health care law has come to a close, with the Supreme Court ruling 6-3 to uphold low- and middle-income Americans’ ability to receive tax subsidies for health insurance regardless of the state in which they live. The celebrations of proponents of the Affordable Care Act, however, were tempered by the knowledge that the political fight over the law will continue, at both the state and federal level. Gerry Wedig, associate professor of business administration from Simon Business School at the University of Rochester, says he doesn’t expect states to give up their exchanges. “They have a bit more decision power about some of the parameters of how the exchanges are run,” he says.

The Hollywood Reporter (May 30)

'House of Cards' Composer on Plans for Season 4, Live Symphonic Suite (Q&A)

Fans of House of Cards won’t know if President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) can win the White House -- or win back his wife -- until season four debuts next spring. But the series’ composer, Jeff Beal, hopes to bring music from the Emmy-nominated Netflix series to symphony houses before then. Beal has written a 55-minute House of Cards symphony, synchronized to screen images from the show, that he plans to conduct with symphonies around the globe. “I workshopped it at the Eastman School a few months ago, and we are in the early stages of getting the rights worked out so we can take this out to orchestras all over the world,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter exclusively at the Krakow Film Music Festival.

(Also reported in: Classicalite)

Rochester Business Journal (June 29)

URMC gets $4M grant to create program for the deaf, hard-of-hearing

The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry has received nearly $4 million for a program that would serve as a national model to educate post-doctoral students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, university officials said. In the last decade, collaborations between the UR, RIT/NTID and the deaf community have led to many pioneering projects through the URs National Center for Deaf Health Research.

Rochester Business Journal (June 24)

URMC set to launch certificate program in data science

Enrollment is open and classes begin Monday for a new Certificate of Advanced Study in Biomedical Data Science program at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “It’s pretty intense — starting with a summer boot camp that begins next week,” said Timothy Dye, director of biomedical informatics at the Clinical and Translational Institute, in a statement. “But we thought all these topics were required to have a good foundation in data science applied to the biomedical area.”

Rochester Business Journal (May 22)

The Loop

A UR first: It’s not every day the University of Rochester commissions a piece of public art. In fact, it just happened for the first time in the university’s 165-year history. And it wasn’t a quick job—it took a multiyear process and an international call for submissions. Ultimately, the selection committee picked a Turkish artist who designed a piece titled “Calyx.” On May 14, the 12-foot-tall sculpture was installed in Jackson Court on the River Campus, as part of an effort to bring public art to campus. Sabri Gokmen’s sculpture was selected from more than 120 submissions. The sculpture, he says, “celebrates the coming of a new age where technology, nature and knowledge become intertwined to inspire the creation of a new generation which will drive the University of Rochester forward.”

Huffington Post (June 5)

Researchers Determine the Three Ways to Well-Being

As far as psychology theories go, University of Rochester's Richard Ryan and Edward Deci's Self-Determination Theory is one of the biggest out there. The theory has been used to analysis situations as diverse as the happiness of lawyers, classroom environments, and the training of sales-people. This is serious science, with hundreds of researchers using the Self-Determination Theory as the foundation of their own work, and thousands of studies backing the theory. Ryan and Deci's foundational paper received an astounding 13,191 citations, making it the Gangnam Style of motivational psychology, albeit with less dancing.

Music Theory Online (June 22)

Review of Robert Freeman, The Crisis of Classical Music in America: Lessons from the Life in the Education of Musicians (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014)

John Covach . . . a lot has changed since the time I graduated from college in 1957, in the world generally and in the field of music. And the speed of change appears to be accelerating. (1) [1] Robert Freeman is probably best known among post-secondary music faculty as the former director of the Eastman School of Music; he came to Rochester from a musicology post at MIT in 1972, served for more than two decades at Eastman, and left in 1996 to take up positions as dean at the New England Conservatory and then later at the University of Texas at Austin. While Freeman had very little administrative experience when he began the top job at Eastman, he soon became a leading figure in collegiate music administration, in part because of his vision and innovation as director, and in part owing to the prestige and standing of the school he led. Indeed, many today would consider Freeman to be among the country’s most authoritative and experienced senior figures in performing-arts leadership—the dean of music-school deans.
John Covach, Department of Music, The University of Rochester

Rochester Business Journal (May 22)

Hospitals get scored in new federal ratings

Patients asked by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to rate their stays in area hospitals gave Strong Memorial, Highland and Soldiers & Sailors Memorial hospitals the highest marks. The new CMS ratings assign hospitals one to five stars, awarding five to facilities to which patients gave the highest average scores and one star to hospitals whose average scores fell on the low end of the curve. Geneva General earned three stars. It is the lead hospital of Finger Lakes Health System, which includes Soldiers & Sailors. Also garnering three-star ratings was F.F. Thompson Hospital Inc. in Canandaigua, a sister hospital of Strong and Highland in the University of Rochester Medical Center system, Nicholas Noyes Memorial in Livingston County and Allegany County’s Jones Memorial, which both expect to join the URMC system this year, likewise won three-star ratings.

The New York Times (June 21)

Frederick P. Li, Who Proved a Genetic Cancer Link, Dies at 75

Dr. Frederick Li left high school early and enrolled at New York University when he was 16, earning a degree in physics. He studied medicine at the University of Rochester, earned a master’s degree in demography from Georgetown University and went to work at the National Cancer Institute in 1967. In the early 1970s, still employed by the institute, he was sent to Dana-Farber as a medical officer in epidemiology.

Huffington Post (June 21)

University Investigated Over Claim That Campus Security Physically Restrained Alleged Sexual Assault Victim

As of Wednesday, the University of Rochester, a private school in New York, is one of 118 colleges and universities being investigated by the Education Department for their handling of sexual violence-related matters. UR's case deals with the treatment Abigail received after reporting an assault, but also dives into the way campus security acted during what Abigail described as a "traumatic" encounter with security officers who she says falsely accused her of being drunk.

(Also reported in: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, WHAM TV ABC 13, WXXI, WHEC-TV, Time Warner Cable News, University Business)

Washington Post (June 8)

Five things men say when accused of liking Taylor Swift

“If you’re a middle aged man looking at a woman … who’s sort of identified with your daughter’s culture,” you might give the impression that “you’re physically attracted to her or have daydreams of romantic hookups.” So said John Covach, the director of the Institute of Popular Music at the University of Rochester, explaining why some grown men might be reluctant to admit to being fans of Taylor Swift. After all, for many, music means identity, he added. So what of the dad who identifies with the 25-year-old Swift? Out of touch? In the throes of a mid-life crisis? Just plain creepy?

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (June 27)

Buffalo Billion model is promising better days ahead

Danny Wegman & Joel Seligman

As the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council co-chairs, we felt it necessary to respond to a June 21 article and June 22 follow-up editorial in the Democrat and Chronicle critical of New York State's "Buffalo Billion" economic development investment. Our perception of what Governor Cuomo's upstate plans have done and will do for our region and the information available to the public is much different than that presented in the Democrat and Chronicle. Over the past five years, the Finger Lakes region has received over $300 million in grants and awards through the Regional Economic Development Council process for a variety of projects. The regional council model for state investment has been nothing less than transformational, allowing local and regional leaders to work together as teams to prioritize projects that are most meaningful for their respective parts of the state. This has truly been a bottom-up approach to economic development.

Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman and University of Rochester president Joel Seligman are co-chairs of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.

Nature (June 16)

US 'export rules' threaten research

On 5 May, the departments released the first set of long-awaited proposals for regulating the category that includes sensors and night-vision equipment...At the University of Rochester in New York, astronomer Judith Pipher develops infrared detectors to observe the cosmos, which are regulated under ITAR because military night-vision goggles also use infrared sensors. Astronomical sensors detect radiation that is one million times less intense than that detected by the military, but neither the current nor the proposed rules take that into account. “I don’t think this particular reform is going to get us there,” says Pipher, who, before she acquired US citizenship, was once barred from seeing data gathered by infrared instruments that her team was testing.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 29)

Biomedical labs are hub of research, pose concerns at UR

Dressing for work is not always a simple task for University of Rochester research scientist Marty Pavelka. When he uses UR’s high-containment lab — equipped with a special ventilation system in a secure location at the medical center — Pavelka is covered from head to foot in protective garb. And he uses a respirator.

USA TODAY High School Sports (June 2)

Sports injury, performance focus of UR project

As Austin Carr jumped, touched his toes, did knee bends and push ups, his silhouetted image on the laptop screen glowed in shades of purple and white. A computer program designed by doctors at the University of Rochester Medical Center created an anatomical profile and captured 3D snapshots, every thousandth of a second, measuring each joint motion as Carr moved. Sensors at other stations in the athletic combine did the same, reading the QR code in a special armband he wore. “It’s just so much data that we were never able to get before,” said Gregg Nicandri, an orthopedic surgeon and one of the physicians on the UR Medicine Sports Medicine team.

Time Magazine (June 22)

4 New Parenting Tips That Will Make Your Kids Awesome

Parenting tips are everywhere but most have zero legitimate research behind them. So what does science have to say? And how can you remember what’s important so you actually use it? University of Rochester’s Dr. Judith Smetana, a leader in the study of teen disclosure, confirms that, over the long term, “moderate conflict with parents [during adolescence] is associated with better adjustment than either no-conflict or frequent conflict.”

USA Today (June 19)

Seeking a smarter way to diagnose prostate cancer

Hans Schmitthenner, a research scientist at Rochester Institute of Technology, hopes to make detecting prostate cancer — the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men — less of a guessing game. Schmitthenner's research — to be effective — would need to be coupled with new technology developed by RIT imaging science professor Navalgund Rao and Vikram Dogra, who is a professor of radiology, urology and biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

(Also reported in: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

WXXI PBS News (June 4)

Coming up on Connections: Thursday, June 4th

In our first hour, we'll focus on the latest concussion protocol in pro sports, and whether teams are setting the right example for youth sports. Case in point: last week the Golden State Warriors saw both of their top players crash to the court after blows to the head. In both cases, the players were brought back out to play a short time later, in the same game. In the second case, Klay Thompson was unable to drive himself home from the game, and vomited multiple times. He was diagnosed with a concussion the next day. The team has defended its decision to bring their players right back out, saying that they passed the initial concussion tests. But what are those tests? Can we trust them? In studio: Dr. Jeff Bazarian, an emergency physician with a strong research background in traumatic brain injury In our second hour: Acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Richard Price joins us. He'll be in Rochester next week for workshops with Writers Books and an event at the MAG. First, we talk about his process, and his white-hot new novel The Whites. In studio: Jonathan Binstock, director of the Memorial Art Gallery Related Program:Connections

Tampa Bay Times (May 30)

Changed climate, doomed planets

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is home to almost 300 billion stars, and over the last decade, astronomers have made a startling discovery almost all those stars have planets. By studying these nearby planets, we've discovered general rules for both climate and climate change. These rules, based in physics and chemistry, must apply to any species, anywhere, taking up energy-harvesting and civilization-building in a big way. For example, any species climbing up the technological ladder by harvesting energy through combustion must alter the chemical makeup of its atmosphere to some degree. Combustion always produces chemical byproducts, and those byproducts can't just disappear.

Adam Frank is an astrophysics professor at the University of Rochester, a co-founder of NPR's 13.7 Cosmos and Culture blog and the author of About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang.

Slate Magazine (June 30)

Toxic Substances Rip Up Lungs and Inflict Cancer. And Our System for Protecting Workers Is Tragically Broken.

The substance was silica, a component of rock and sand that is the scourge of miners, sandblasters, and other workers who breathe it in. When pulverized into dust, it can cause silicosis a scarring of the lungs that leads to slow suffocation as well as lung cancer. Johnson said he was oblivious to silica's destructive properties. That didn't matter until he was assigned a job in Rome, New York, in April 2004. He was short of breath, losing weight rapidly, unable to do simple tasks without exertion. I had no clue what was going on. The answer came early in a three-week stay at the University of Rochester's Strong Memorial Hospital in December 2004. Johnson's parents drove him there after his right lung collapsed following a biopsy, and further tests showed he had acute silicosis triggered by mixed dust exposure.

Medscape (June 5)

FDA Panel Backs Approval of 'Female Viagra'

Is third time a charm for "female Viagra"? After being rejected twice before, a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee voted today to back approval of flibanserin, which stands to become the first drug approved specifically for boosting female sexual desire. "The benefits are modest, maybe less than modest," said panelist Walid Gellad, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. "That puts it in good company with other approved drugs," said Dr Gellad, drawing laughter. But, he added, "I have serious, serious safety concerns." He was not alone. Summing up the committee's view, panel chair Vivian Lewis, MD, said that the modest improvement meant that many women would still have the HSDD diagnosis. "However, even a modest improvement may be helpful clinically for someone who has HSDD," said Dr. Lewis, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Rochester in New York.

Rochester Business Journal (June 5)

Firm creates key device

A University of Rochester Medical Center neurologist believes a device he has spent years developing could provide a long-sought key to preventing or delaying Alzheimer’s disease. The device, Cognivue, whose first prototype Charles Duffy M.D. built with his son’s help in the family garage, soon could become standard equipment in primary care offices, Duffy believes.

The Daily News Online (June 19)

Eastman School of Music hosting international piano competition

Twenty-four of the world’s top teenaged pianists will vie for prizes in the Eastman School of Music Young Artists International Piano Competition next month. The week-long event of adjudicated performances, master classes, and recitals by award-winning guest artists — all of which are open to the public — begins Sunday, July 12. “These young artists are among the best in the new, young generation of pianists,” said Douglas Humpherys, chair of the piano department at Eastman and founding director of the competition. “The audience has the chance to hear these tremendously talented and seasoned performers as they showcase their artistic achievements and build their musical careers.”

Rochester Business Journal (June 12)

Impact of RBJ 75 more than payroll alone

While the RBJ 75 companies and organizations employ more than 130,000 people locally, with tens of millions of dollars spent on payroll, their impact on the regional economy is even broader through their purchases of goods and services from local suppliers. Many place an emphasis on buying local whenever possible. “Because of our size, we have a responsibility to (support) as much of the local economy as we can,” said Cameron Schauf, the University of Rochester’s director of campus dining services and auxiliary operations. Schauf, who also serves as co-chair of the University Council on Sustainability, oversees food purchases for the UR River Campus and Eastman School of Music.

WXXI PBS News (June 10)

Walter Isaacson, Kristin Chenoweth, Part Of Meliora Weekend

Best-selling author and biographer Walter Isaacson and award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth will headline the annual Meliora Weekend at the University of Rochester later this year. Among the panel discussions for Meliora Weekend is one on The Crisis in K-12 Education, including a conversation about the U of R's role in taking over administration of East High School.

Rochester Business Journal (June 24)

Nursing degree aims to address nursing faculty shortage

A new Master of Science in Nursing Education program unveiled this week by the University of Rochester School of Nursing aims to address the shortage of nursing faculty here and around the country, officials said. Interest in nursing locally is high, said Kathy Rideout, dean of UR’s nursing school and vice president at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She noted that enrollment in the school’s accelerated programs for non-nurses has grown by more than 400 percent since 2002.

Rochester City Newspaper (June 17)


In her book, "The Poitier Effect: Racial Melodrama and Fantasies of Reconciliation," Sharon Willis, a University of Rochester professor of Art and Art History/Visual and Cultural Studies, provides a comprehensive, deft analysis of respectability politics by using the films of Sidney Poitier — and their enduring effect on our depiction of racial reconciliation — as a case study. Willis argues that while Sidney Poitier remains an important Civil Rights figure, he also symbolized the white desire for a racial reconciliation that required no real change on the part of white culture — a version in which education and friendship on the personal level could negate the gravity of history and our persistent problems with inequality.

Smithsonian Channel (June 24)

Video: My Million Dollar Invention: Why You Can Thank Arthritis for the Photocopier

When patent attorney Chester Carlson starts to develop arthritis in his hands, he realizes he needs an easier way to copy documents. Little did he know it would transform the office environment forever. "He really struggles with all of his copying. The idea for an invention that would improve the copying process is born out of his own physical pain."

Melissa Mead, The John M. and Barbara Keil University Archivist, University of Rochester

Science 2.0 (June 11)

Can Gaming Help People With "Lazy Eye" See In 3D?

The lazy eye I’ve had since early childhood means that my brain largely ignores the signals from my right eye, leaving my world flatter than most people’s.

The seeds of a new way of thinking about brain plasticity were sown around 20 years ago. During the mid-1990s, Levi found that some forms of acuity, or clarity of vision, could be regained in adults with lazy eye if they repeated specific visual exercises for long periods – an approach known as perceptual learning. “We had some encouraging results, but with a boring repetitive task that had to be done thousands of times for hours and hours, so the question was how do we make it more user-friendly?” The answer came from one of those serendipitous moments that litter the history of scientific discovery. In 1999, Daphne Bavelier, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester in New York State, was bemused by the high scores achieved by a researcher in her department and his friends in a computer-based test designed to study the effects of congenital deafness on visual attention. Eventually she linked this to their fondness for the action video games Counter-Strike and Team Fortress Classic.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (June 26)

Worker who died from injuries at UR identified

A plumbing contractor who died from injuries suffered Tuesday while working on the completion of the new Golisano Children's Hospital has been identified by the University of Rochester as Mark Keehley.

(Also reported in: Newsday, Finger Lakes Times, Oneida Daily Dispatch, WTEN ABC 10 Albany)

Rochester Business Journal (June 12)

Mark Taubman takes the helm at URMC

Mark Taubman M.D. is now formally CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center and UR Medicine, officials said Friday. He was appointed in January as the first UR leader to serve as both URMC CEO and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. He was named dean in March 2010, after serving for nine months as acting CEO while former CEO Bradford Berk recovered from a spinal cord injury.

WHAM TV ABC 13 Rochester (June 1)

Highland Hospital ceremonial groundbreaking

Highland Hospital held a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday on its new two-story building addition. Construction on the $28 million project will begin on the site once approval for the Certificate of Need from the New York State Department of Health is received. Approval is expected in June or July. The construction project will run from 12-18 months with an additional six months of internal renovation in adjacent building space. "This is a proud day when we can celebrate our plans to build this much-needed state-of-the art addition to Highland Hospital," said Joel Seligman, President, University of Rochester. "Highland has long provided quality patient care and this new facility will help us meet the growing needs of our community."

(Also reported in: Time Warner Cable News, WHEC-TV, WROC-TV )

WROC TV CBS 8 Rochester (June 16)

U of R Admissions Counselor Drops Everything to Make Hiking History

For the next year, Tyler Socash will be a man without a destination. He will take his 30 pound back-bag and start a journey unlike any other. Socash will start by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (2,633 miles) . The path begins at the Canadian border in Washington State and ends at the border of Mexico in California. When he's done, he'll fly to New Zealand where he'll hike Te Aroroa (1,864 miles), a trail that goes from the northern to the southern most point of the island nation. And for a nice cool down, he'll travel to Georgia where he will hike the entire Appalachian Trail (2,185 miles) and finish his roughly 7,000 trek in Maine. Socash left his job at his alma mater, the University of Rochester, to follow his passion and educate as many people as he can about the wild.

Investment Magazine (June 11)

Quality factor explained by profitability: Robert Novy-Marx

Among academic classifications, and the subsequent implementation of factor investing, “quality” is one of the newer areas of investigation. Robert Novy-Marx, the Lori and Alan S. Zekelman Professor of Finance at the University of Rochester, is leading the charge on the academic justification of quality as a factor, although he has a “jaded scepticism” about the nomenclature. “It’s a marketing term,” he says. But what he is certain about, however, is that quality exists as a phenomenon, and for value investors their portfolios are enhanced by including quality stocks alongside value stocks.

WXXI (June 24)

Connections: Can We Slow Down Aging?

We go looking for the fountain of youth based on the latest research on aging. Our guest is Vera Gorbunova a University of Rochester biology professor, and she'll be speaking at the Rochester Museum and Science Center Wednesday night as part of their 'Science on the Edge' lecture series.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 29)

Thumbs up, thumbs down

For the new Golisano Children's Hospital, the largest capital project in the University of Rochester's history, which was dedicated this week. The $145 million facility will care for critically ill children from throughout western New York and beyond. In addition to an initial $20 million pledge from Paychex founder, B. Thomas Golisano, thousands of individuals and community groups have pitched in to help make the hospital a reality.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy (June 1)

As Menu of Naming Rights Expands, Fundraisers Pitch Options Online

Take the online virtual tour of the new building that will soon house Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center and you’ll see lovely renderings, 3D animated views — and a good look at fundraising today. With a click on the interactive floor plans, lists of naming opportunities unfurl — some 370 in all, priced at $20,000 for a baby-formula prep room up to $5 million for the neonatal intensive care unit. The grand total: roughly $58 million. Results Speak Controversies aside, it’s hard to argue with the results. Golisano Children’s Hospital has netted more than $33 million through 122 naming gifts and looks as though it will reach its goal of $40 million. Chief fundraiser Scott Rasmussen has no qualms about the nearly 400 naming opportunities loaded onto his capital-campaign website. "To me, it’s an evolution that’s been absolutely needed. I’m sort of an old dog; I’ve been doing this for 25 years. But I’m having a ton of fun with this website."

WROC TV CBS 8 Rochester (June 14)

Alex's Lemonade Days raises money to help fight childhood cancer

Researchers from the Danielle Benoit Laboratories at the University of Rochester hosted an event to raise money to fight childhood cancer. It was part of a weekend long event called "Alex's Lemonade Days" and it was held at the Brighton Farmer's Market. Alex's Lemonade Stand is a national foundation founded by a boy named Alex Scott. Its members have all been personally impacted by cancer. Volunteers host thousands of these events across the country each year.

Rochester Business Journal (June 17)

UR president Seligman highlights milestones in letter

University of Rochester President Joel Seligman showcased major expansions, faculty and student honors, and an increase in scholarship for incoming freshman in his end-of-year letter to the campus on Wednesday. The letter highlights the successes and milestones of the year for the university. “No one should ever have any delusions that progress for any institution in our country today is easy or assured,” Seligman wrote. “But I am proud to report an almost palpable sense of momentum at the University.”

Somerville Courier News (June 18)

Choosing a college by its food court selections

Students seeking colleges with up-scale menu varieties have many impressive options. Columbia University, with its cafeteria that has completely eliminated the use of trans fat, features a menu including eggplant roulettes, Thai chili wings and chipotle potato soup. When Columbia students tire of the menu, they can use Flex Dollars at a slew of NYC restaurants including Chipotle, Five Guys Burgers and Whole Foods. NYU students can likewise use their Campus Cash at a choice of 20 Manhattan eateries including Potatopia, 5 Napkin Burger and Whole Foods. Or, they can feast in their dining halls on fresh omelets, muffins, fruits, and NYC’s longest strawberry shortcake. Other top 10 colleges, when the criteria is strictly food, include: John Hopkins University (Maryland), Kennesaw State University (Georgia), Boston University (Massachusetts), Northwestern University (Illinois), University of Rochester (NY) and Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA.

The Conversation (June 3)

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, 50 years later: The song that almost never was

John Covach, Director, Institute for Popular Music at University of Rochester

Fifty years ago, the Rolling Stones released their breakthrough single (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, which debuted in the US during the first week of June 1965. The band’s previous singles had done well enough stateside: the country-influenced Heart of Stone had risen to 19 on the charts in late 1964, and the gospel-tinged The Last Time had reached 9. But Satisfaction catapulted the band’s into superstardom, hitting number one on both sides of the Atlantic.

Rochester Business Journal (June 1)

College Town, others receive BOMA Rochester Recognition Awards

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Rochester honored the College Town Rochester project with this years 2015 BOMA Rochester Recognition Award in the new construction category. And the BOMA Rochester 2015 Recognition Award for Manager of the Year went to James Berner of Visiting Nurse Service of Rochester and Monroe County, a Medicare-certified unit of the University of Rochester Medical Center with a $60 million annual budget and 900 employees who serve 13,000 patients each year.

WXXI PBS News (June 5)

Connections: Its Time For A Baroque "Intervention"

It’s a Baroque intervention. Evan loves classical music, but has never loved Baroque. Rochester has a tremendous base of talent and expertise in the medium, from musicians to professors to creators. Our colleagues from Classical 91.5 are helping with the Baroque intervention, designed to awaken us to what Rochester has to offer, and why we should love Baroque. Guests include: Edoardo Bellotti, Eastman School of Music – Associate Professor of Organ, Harpsichord, and Improvisation