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In the Headlines

September 2014

NBC (September 24)

Scientists Show You How to Make an Invisibility Cloak (Sort Of)

hand disappears behind lens
Physicists have figured out the optical parameters for a magic trick they characterize as a kind of "invisibility cloak" — and unlike most magicians, they're only too willing to show you how it's done. "We just figured a very simple way of doing that can just be using standard lenses, and things that we normally find in the lab," physics professor John Howell said in a video explaining the setup. Howell enlisted two of his sons for a similar invisibility demonstration last year. This time around, Howell and graduate student Joseph Choi are co-authors of a paper about the Rochester Cloak that has been submitted to the journal Optics Express. This is the first device that we know of that can do three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking, which works for transmitting rays in the visible spectrum, Choi said in a University of Rochester news release.

(Also reported in: Time Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, Yahoo News UK, International Business Times, Sydney Morning Herald, Motherboard, Gizmag, Syracuse Post Standard, CBS News, Fox News, China Daily, Science Daily, Brainerd Dispatch,, Maine News Online, WHEC-TV, 13WHAM-TV, Time Warner Cable News, RT, WHEC-TV, WROC TV )

Rochester Business Journal (September 18)

Wilmot Cancer Institute receives $18.5 million grant

smiling cancer patient in hospital bedThe National Cancer Institute has awarded an $18.5 million grant to the University of Rochester's Wilmot Cancer Institute, officials said Thursday. Marked for the institute's Cancer Control and Survivorship program, the five-year grant will fund a study of cancer-related side effects. This award really helps to keep Rochester out in the forefront of patient-directed care in cancer, said Gary Morrow, the study's principal investigator. A UR professor of oncology, surgery and psychiatry, Morrow has spent three decades researching cancer control. The field of study encompasses cancer prevention and early detection as well as cancer survivorship and end-of-life issues.

(Also reported in: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Time Warner Cable News, 13WHAM-TV, WHAM, WROC-TV, WHEC-TV, WXXI )

Rochester Business Journal (September 17)

Berk to step down as URMC CEO to head new research institute at UR

man in wheelchair holding number 5University of Rochester Medical Center CEO Bradford Berk M.D. plans to step down at the end of this year to establish and head a new UR research organization, the Rochester Neurorestorative Institute, officials said Wednesday. The university has named Mark Taubman M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, to take over as medical center CEO, UR president Joel Seligman said. Taubman is to continue as medical school dean after assuming the CEO post. URMC includes Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals, the UR medical school, extensive research facilities, many of the regions primary care and specialty medical practices, as well as other health care facilities.

(Also reported in: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, 13WHAM-TV, Time Warner Cable News, WHEC-TV, WHAM 1180, WROC-TV, WXXI, Rochester Business Journal )

Genetic Engineering News (September 24)

Preventing "Genomic Parasites" from Causing Age-Related Diseases

diagram of protein interactionsScientists at the University of Rochester believe they have shed light on how the activity of jumping genes can lead to age-related diseases such as cancer. The team reports that jumping genes, technically known as retrotransposons, in mice become active as the mice age when a multi-function protein stops keeping them in check in order to take on another role.

Science News (September 15)

New analysis rescues quantum wave-particle duality

graphic showing photons hitting double slitted deviceBohr’s explanation relied on the fact that even though an electron passed through only one slit, the presence of the second slit meant you (the experimental observer) did not know which slit the electron passed through. If you knew that, you’d be sure it was a particle, and the interference pattern would not materialize. In other words, you could not know which path the electron took (making it a particle) and also observe interference (making it a wave). That’s just what the 2012 experiment challenged, in a complicated experiment (using photons instead of electrons) in which it seemed you could detect interference and also get information about the photon’s path. But the new paper, by Eliot Bolduc of the University of Ottawa in Canada, with Robert Boyd of Ottawa and the University of Rochester in New York and other collaborators, reanalyzed the challenge and found a flaw.

The New York Times (September 12)

Facts, Lies and Artifacts

old photo of man walking in Paris
Other novelists have explored this territory — Bruce Chatwin in “Utz,” Leslie Marmon Silko in “Gardens in the Dunes” and more recently Elizabeth Gilbert in “The Signature of All Things.” For Armand de Potter in Joanna Scott’s new novel, “De Potter’s Grand Tour,” the compulsion to collect has a simple explanation: He wants people to admire him. His initial fascination with the objects he dredges from New York Harbor — a woman’s shoe, an old pair of handcuffs — stems from an interest in “the forgotten history of the world.” And when he first digs antiquities out of the desert sand in Africa, he feels that “the past had been given permanent shape in relics.” Editor's note: Joanna Scott is the Roswell Smith Burrows Professor of English at the University of Rochester.

(Also reported in: USA Today, The Huffington Post, The Dallas Morning News )

The Scientist (September 25)

Thomson Reuters Predicts Nobelists

Ching Tang holding device with OLED screenDemystifying the processes of gene transcription and regulation, rooting out the molecular mechanics of pain, and inventing the organic light emitting diode: these are just a few of the scientific advances that could net Nobel Prizes for the researchers behind them, according to information resource provider Thomson Reuters. As it does every year, Thomson Reuters has released the names of its latest batch of “Citation Laureates.” University of Rochester chemical engineer Ching Tang and chief technology officer at Bay Area tech company Kateeva, for “their invention of the organic light emitting diode.”

(Also reported in: Yahoo! News, Business Insider, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Daily Independent, Digital Journal, Plus Plastic Electronics )

Live Science (September 5)

New Quantum Particle Calculations Make Waves In Field

But for quantum computing and quantum teleportation to work, they both need huge systems with lots of quantum particles that interact to create many dimensions. The huge multidimensional systems have complicated wave functions that the old method is not efficient enough to measure, Mohammad Mirhosseini, a graduate student at the University of Rochester and lead author on the paper describing the new technique, told Live Science. The new method makes it possible to calculate wave functions much faster and could help scientists further develop quantum technology.

(Also reported in: Yahoo! News )

BBC Radio (September 9)

'Pocket' diagnosis for Parkinson’s

Smartphone technology revealed at the British Science Festival could help diagnose and treat Parkinson's disease. "Most people who have the disease will never be objectively measured," explained Dr Max Little, a mathematical researcher with Aston's Nonlinearity and Complexity Research Group. Dr Little is also seeking 2,500 people with or without Parkinson's to participate in a study with the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, US. Participants download an app to their smartphone and complete a range of active and passive tests of voice, gait and dexterity.

Time Magazine (September 11)

The Power of Sleep

“I was nervous when I went to my first sleep conference,” says Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, the chatty and inquisitive co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester. “I was not trained in sleep, and I came to it from the outside.” In fact, as a busy mother and career woman, she saw sleep the way most of us probably do: as a bother. “Every single night, I wanted to accomplish more and enjoy time with my family, and I was annoyed to have to go to bed.” Because she’s a neuroscientist, however, Nedergaard was inclined to ask a seemingly basic question: Why do our brains need sleep at all? There are two competing evolutionary theories. One is that sleeping organisms are immobile and therefore less likely to be easy targets, so perhaps sleep provided some protection from prey. The time slumbering, however, took away from time spent finding food and reproducing. Another points out that sleeping organisms are oblivious to creeping predators, making them ripe for attack. Since both theories seem to put us at a disadvantage, Nedergaard thought there had to be some other reason the brain needs those hours offline.

Wired (September 12)

Absurd Creatures of the Week: The Naked Mole Rat Could One Day Save Your Life

You see, this nearly hairless critter, which is indeed a rodent but not technically a rat, is one of only two mammals on Earth that live in what are known as eusocial societies—think bee and ant colonies ruled by a queen, with multitudes of workers underneath. But instead of being born into royalty, female naked mole rats fight to the death to take the throne, using their enormous chompers to puncture the lungs and other vital organs of their foes. Biologist Vera Gorbunova studies these creatures at the University of Rochester. She says naked mole rat societies, which can reach 300 individuals, are more like dictatorships than monarchies because anyone with the gumption can ascend the throne, even if she doesn’t have a fancy III or IV after her name. Any female can, in theory, depose the queen, and males can rise up to become one of just two or three allowed to breed with her. Most females are perfectly happy not ovulating, “but occasionally,” Gorbunova says, “especially if the queen is getting weak, either from a disease or for example she’s just given birth—then another female may start ovulating all of a sudden.”

The Atlantic (September 15)

The Nation That Janet Jackson Built

By Joseph Vogel Joseph Vogel is the author of Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson. His work has appeared in Slate, The Huffington Post, and PopMatters. He holds a Ph.D. in american literature and culture from the University of Rochester. The most culturally significant female artist of the 1980s? Janet Jackson. I realize that’s a big claim for a decade that included such talents as Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Annie Lennox, Cyndi Lauper, and Madonna. It may seem even more dubious given the fact that Janet really only emerged as a major figure in 1986 with the release of Control—and only released two substantial albums over the course of the decade. Janet didn’t have the vocal prowess of Whitney Houston, or the poetic subtlety of Kate Bush; she didn’t have Annie Lennox’s penchant for the avant-garde or Madonna’s predilection for shock. But none of these artists achieved the cross-racial impact (particularly on youth culture) of Janet. And none of them had an album like Rhythm Nation 1814.

The New York Times (September 8)

The Most Economically Diverse Top Colleges

To measure top colleges’ efforts on economic diversity, The Upshot calculated a College Access Index, based on the share of freshmen in recent years who came from low-income families (measured by the share receiving a Pell grant) and on the net price of attendance for low- and middle-income families. The following table also shows colleges’ endowment per student, which is a measure of the resources available to colleges. Colleges with a four-year graduation rate of 75 percent or higher in 2011-12 are included. College, Pell (2012-2014), Pell (2008), Net price, low-to-middle-income, College Access, Endowment per student Rochester, 20, 16, +4, $15,100, 0.9, $190,000

Fox News (September 30)

Antibiotics in infancy may be linked to childhood obesity, study says

Kids who receive several rounds of antibiotics before age two may be at an increased risk for being overweight by age five, suggests a new study. "Infancy is a vulnerable period for many things," said Dr. Stephen Cook, an associate professor of pediatrics and community health at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "This is a recent cohort, it's large and worth noticing," he told Reuters Health by phone. He added that it's nearly impossible to directly test this theory with human children, but studies in animals have found that antibiotic use leads to weight gain. Cook, who is also a member of the executive committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Section on Obesity, was not part of the new study.

(Also reported in: Chicago Tribune, Las Vegas Review Journal, Bangor Daily News, MSN Health and Fitness )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (September 23)

UR doctors are writing more than prescriptions

Even if she can't cure, Dr. Colleen Fogarty can help heal. "There are certain things that people experience that don't have a fix," says Fogarty, associate professor in the University of Rochester Department of Family Medicine and assistant director of the Family Medicine Residency. "I can't necessarily give a medicine to fix poverty, or the death of a loved one. But a healing presence can help people process it or come to peace." By writing, Fogarty has come to understand different ways a doctor can make things better. "Getting things on paper helps me process," said Fogarty, who with four colleagues from UR Medicine's Highland Family Medicine is performing again at the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival. "Heart and Soul: Medicine and Life" at Writers & Books on Saturday is a spoken-word performance with the doctors reading poems, short essays or 55-word vignettes.

Washington Post (September 8)

The economics of reclining your airplane seat aren’t so simple

By James Johnson Social scientists often advance statistical analyses that are hedged about with confidence intervals or theoretical arguments that trade upon precise initial conditions. Unfortunately, journalists are apt to invoke such analyses in ways that ignore such qualifications. In a recent post Josh Barro provides an example by misinterpreting one theoretical argument commonly known as "the Coase Theorem." James Johnson is a professor of political science at the University of Rochester.

The Atlantic (September 24)

What the Marshmallow Test Really Teaches About Self-Control

It began in the early 1960s at Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School, where Mischel and his graduate students gave children the choice between one reward (like a marshmallow, pretzel, or mint) they could eat immediately, and a larger reward (two marshmallows) for which they would have to wait alone, for up to 20 minutes. Years later, Mischel and his team followed up with the Bing preschoolers and found that children who had waited for the second marshmallow generally fared better in life. For example, studies showed that a child’s ability to delay eating the first treat predicted higher SAT scores and a lower body mass index (BMI) 30 years after their initial Marshmallow Test. Some critics claim that a 2012 University of Rochester study calls the Marshmallow Test into question. Children in a reliable environment (where they could trust that the delayed reward would materialize) waited four times longer than children in the unreliable group. Were the kids in your test simply making a rational choice and assessing reliability? And wouldn’t that factor be outside the scope of the original Marshmallow Tests?

Chronicle of Philanthropy (September 21)

U. of Rochester Booster Endows a Top Fundraising Position

Endowments aren't just for teaching and research positions anymore; nonprofits have been seeking them to fund other positions, like museum curators. However, providing cash to help pay the salary of someone dedicated to raising cash is a new wrinkle. Laurence and Cindy Bloch, longtime donors to the University of Rochester, have given $1.5-million to help supplement the salary of the institution's top fundraiser.

The Times of India (August 30)

Your face can reveal your heart condition

The facial features of an individual can reflect whether or not a person is experiencing atrial fibrillation, a treatable but potentially dangerous heart condition. With the assistance of a web camera and software algorithms, scientists demonstrated that subtle changes in skin colour can be used to detect the uneven blood flow caused by atrial fibrillation. "This technology holds the potential to identify and diagnose cardiac disease using contact less video monitoring," said Jean-Philippe Couderc from University of Rochester's heart research follow-up program.

(Also reported in: Daily Mail,, Sunday Express, The Scotsman, Deccan Herald, Science Daily, )

Wall Street Journal (September 29)

A Political Attack on Shareholder Value

By David M. Primo Last week the Center for Political Accountability and the Zicklin Center at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School released the annual "CPA-Zicklin Index," which ranks companies based on disclosure policies for political activities. The more you disclose, the better you score. The aptly named Noble Energy and transportation giant CSX topped the list, while 20 companies, including Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and household names like Netflix, received scores of zero. Shareholders and executives may want to take note, though: A high ranking isn't necessarily good for your company—or for you. Mr. Primo, an associate professor of political science and business administration at the University of Rochester, is an academic adviser to the Center for Competitive Politics.

NPR (September 26)

Rethinking The Relationship Between Civilization And Nature

Listen to the Story: Morning Edition When Nature Fights Back NPR Blogger and astrophysicist Adam Frank takes to the streets of Seattle to tell Audie Cornish why he believes we ought to think of cities and nature in a more holistic way.

IEEE Spectrum (September 5)

Nanowire Circuit Guides Both Electricity and Light on the Same Wire

The field of plasmonics-the use surface plasmons generated when photons hit a metal structure-might enable photonic circuits that could do what electronic ICs do, but do it much faster-at the speed of light. Without plasmonics, photonic circuits would be too large, because they need to accommodate wavelength of light. In a step toward that goal, a joint research team from the University of Rochester and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have developed a primitive circuit consisting of a silver nanowire and single-layer flake of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). This simple circuit can efficiently guide both electricity and light along the same wire.

(Also reported in: Energy and Technology Magazine, U.S. Department of Energy (Office of Science), E-Science News, The Engineer, Compound Semiconductor )

WXXI PBS News (September 18)

New URMC Leader says ACA Challenges Funding Models

School of Medicine and Dentistry Dr. Dean Mark Taubman will take over University of Rochester Medical Center’s lead role starting at the beginning of next year. The CEO-designate recognizes the position comes with challenges as the country changes health care funding models. Taubman thanked Berk, saying he is leaving at the top of his career with a strong and supportive culture at URMC. It’s a culture Taubman says he will emulate. He categorizes the institution as strong, but also recognizes teaching hospitals face potential losses in federal funding linked new structures in Medicaid and Medicare. “Whether there was an Affordable Care Act or not, we know it's not healthy if our health care costs are greater than 20 percent of the gross domestic product. So we have to provide high quality care at a lower cost. We've done well in Rochester. We're been a leader,” said Taubman.

Wall Street Journal (September 11)

Lawmakers Seek to Smooth Banks' Path Through Bankruptcy

A bipartisan bill approved by a congressional committee Wednesday to amend the U.S. bankruptcy code underscores a postcrisis conundrum: Big banks must demonstrate they can be dismantled in bankruptcy, but experts and some lawmakers say the current code is inadequate to handle the failure of a major financial firm. Banks' efforts to date have come up short. Last month, regulators slammed the 11 biggest banks for plans that they say make unrealistic assumptions about how counterparties would behave, and for failing to change their structures or practices. "It's a Catch-22," said Thomas Jackson, a professor at the University of Rochester, of the living-will process. Banks will never be able to produce convincing plans unless there are modifications to the bankruptcy code, he said.

Huffington Post Arts & Culture (September 16)

Hippie Blues: 45 Years of Led Zeppelin

By John Covach Director of the Institute for Popular Music, University of Rochester It used to be said that somewhere in the world, at any given moment, "Stairway to Heaven" is playing on the radio. This 1971 track from the fourth Led Zeppelin album, with its mellow guitar intro (perhaps borrowed from Spirit's "Taurus"), became so ubiquitous in rock culture that it formed the basis for a well-known music-store gag in Wayne's World (a sign in the store reading "No Stairway to Heaven"). Like "Bohemian Rhapsody" for Queen, "Money" for Pink Floyd or "Hotel California" for the Eagles, "Stairway" played an important role in making Led Zep one of the highest-profile bands of the 1970s. Some would even argue that Page, Plant and company are to the 70s what the Beatles are to the 1960s, Elvis to the 1950s or Michael Jackson to the 1980s.

WROC TV CBS 8 Rochester (September 25)

Science Behind Food Cravings

Dr. Julietta Fiscella, the Chief of Pathology at Highland Hospital, and Dr. Jennifer Carroll, the Director of Community Health Promotion Research at the University of Rochester, discussed the science behind food cravings Thursday on News 8 at Sunrise. Dr. Fiscella explained that food cravings occur when we want to eat something that we know is entirely pleasurable. They go beyond the simple need to quench hunger. Dr. Carroll said that when we eat foods that we crave our taste buds immediately send signals to our lower brains through sensory nerves. Simultaneously our hunger hormones start circulating in our digestive tract and blood, and that process also sends signals to our brains.

Rochester Business Journal (August 28)

URMC to share $3.4 million grant for AIDS research

Drugs to fight HIV infections independently developed at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the University of Nebraska Medical Center could prove to be a potent new cocktail to curb the AIDs-causing virus. Teams of URMC and UNMC scientists have jointly won a $3.4 million National Institutes of Health grant to explore the effectiveness and safety of drugs each team has been independently developing for several years as a combined treatment, URMC officials said Thursday.

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

Rochester Business Journal (September 9)

UR receives $1.2M for center to study rare genetic disorder

Thanks to a $1.25 million gift, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry plans to establish a center to study myotonic dystrophy type 2, UR Medical Center officials said Tuesday. The donation—given in the name of the recently deceased Albert Nathan, his wife Lilyan of Florida, the Nathan’s daughter Sherry Goldberg and her husband, Michael Goldberg, of Chicago—was made in gratitude for treatment the Goldbergs’ son, Nathan, who suffers from the rare genetic disorder, received from UR Medicine neurologist Chad Heatwole M.D.

Hispanic Outlook (September 22)

University of Rochester Establishes CollegePrep for Minority High Schools

Many colleges bemoan the lack of communication between the university and local high schools, particularly those with large minority and Latino populations. Minority University of Rochester graduates and students are brought in to tutor high school students and serve as role models. Seeing that their tutor stems from the same neighborhood or background sends a strong message to urban students.

The New York Times (September 11)

In a Study, Text Messages Add Up to a Balance Sheet of Everyday Morality

The findings come from a survey of everyday morality in which researchers tracked people’s moral judgments and attitudes at regular intervals throughout a typical day, using text messages. Previous research on moral behavior had been confined mostly to the laboratory, with subjects making hypothetical, life-or-death decisions that they would never encounter in daily life. Dr. Nosek and other experts who did not work on the study caution that it provides more of a rough draft of daily moral life than a detailed script; its findings are still tentative. “But it shows what kind of insights can be obtained by studying events in their natural, spontaneous context,” said Harry Reis, a psychologist at the University of Rochester.

Science Daily (September 7)

Targeting protein-making machinery to stop harmful bacteria

One challenge in killing off harmful bacteria is that many of them develop a resistance to antibiotics. Researchers at the University of Rochester are targeting the formation of the protein-making machinery in those cells as a possible alternate way to stop the bacteria. And Professor of Biology Gloria Culver has, for the first time, isolated the middle-steps in the process that creates that machinery -- called the ribosomes.

(Also reported in: E-Science News )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (September 4)

Explaining Tragedy to Kids Takes Time

Dr. Michael Scharf, assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics and chief of child psychiatry at UR Medicine, said parents are worried about what to say to their children. Parents looking to explain frightening events can start by reassuring their children that they are safe, Scharf said. When trying to explain what seems to defy logic, he recommended being aware of how and when you're broaching the subject.

Rochester City Newspaper (September 3)

Pinning down prostate cancer

At 65, Jim Johnson says he feels like a young boy again. He says that he has none of the sexual tension or drive that begins around puberty and accompanies men through most of their adult lives. Johnson is in the advanced stages of prostate cancer and is receiving hormone therapy to reduce his production of testosterone, which some researchers say promotes the growth of tumors. The extensive nine-year study shows that PSA screening resulted in at least a 20 percent drop in mortality rates from prostate cancer. But the researchers also said that the widespread general screening has increased the risk of over diagnosis, and that some men may be treated for cancers and other prostate problems that may not be aggressive or life-threatening, says Dr. Edward Messing, chair of the University of Rochester Medical Center's Urology Department.

Market Watch (August 28)

Time to get rid of all those 401(k) plans

Russell “Rusty” Olson and Douglas Phillips proposed in their just-published paper, Let’s Save Retirement: Repairing America’s Broken System of Funding Workers’ Retirement, the creation of a single private defined-contribution (DC) plan. Their paper, the authors say, offers a basis for near-term action by Congress and the Administration to help resolve the growing problem of funding workers’ retirement. Phillips, with 32 years of investment experience, has for the last 14 years been chief investment officer for the University of Rochester’s $2 billion endowment fund and serves on the university’s retirement committee (responsible for $3 billion).

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (September 23)

East High students lay out wishes for future

There will be plenty of changes at East High School next year, when the University of Rochester takes charge — important enhancements in structure, curriculum and social support that experts at the Warner School of Education believe will help improve performance at the troubled school. This week, the East High students themselves had one overwhelming request to add to the list: “No more plastic pizza.” Wednesday night, the UR and the Rochester School District are hosting a community-wide “Vision Summit,” an opportunity for the public to help define what a new and better East High would be like. But before gathering that outside input, nearly every current student in the school was polled on what they would like to see, from safer hallways to more edible lunches.

(Also reported in: 13WHAM-TV, Time Warner Cable News, WHEC-TV, 13WHAM-TV, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, WHEC-TV, WXXI, Rochester City Newspaper, WHAM AM 1180

Business Insider (September 7)

3 Ways To Create Inspiration For Yourself

In 2003, two psychologists at the University of Rochester, Todd Thrash and Andrew Elliot, set out to conduct the definitive study of inspiration using psychology. This was not your average academic study — it was a seven-part study that tested dozens of hypotheses about inspiration and created a framework for studying it in the future. The entire research study was an impressive undertaking, and by the end the researchers had two very important results: 1) a psychological scale that could be used to measure inspiration, and 2) a list of over thirty personality traits with data to show whether these traits cause inspiration to occur. In essence, Thrash and Elliot turned inspiration into a science: If you exhibit particular personality traits, you’re more likely to be inspired.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (September 27)

URMC orthodontist remembered for his zest for life

When Dr. J. Daniel Subtelny put his students in the "hot seat," they knew they were in for five weeks of grueling, rigorous questions that would test the outer bounds of their knowledge and expertise in orthodontics. "He would ask us a lot of questions and we would answer them and the answers would lead to more questions; he always talked to us like we had to think," said Dr. Soon Man Kwon, a former student of Dr. Subtelny who flew in from South Korea this week to attend funeral services for his mentor. "He's like my dad." Dr. Subtelny, a renowned specialist in craniofacial orthodontics and longtime chair and faculty member at University of Rochester Medical Center's Eastman Institute for Oral Health, died Sept. 17. He was 92, and still actively working.

Democrat & Chronicle (September 17)

A kind deed results in a present of Bach

I shall never forget my encounter with a young Asian student struggling to maintain a strenuous master's degree schedule while earning money to afford his studies at the Eastman School of Music with the ambitious goal of remaining in this country to direct and teach music. I had the privilege to become acquainted with David Chin through the Eastman Rochester Community Chorus. We often shared our individual financial problems — I being an elderly woman living on a low income and him a student. Prior to a concert we were performing in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, David handed me an envelope. Much to my amazement, it contained a $50 bill with a lovely note saying God had spoken to him and he was meant to do this. I said to myself, as I wept, that there would come a day I would reimburse him tenfold. That day came about three years later. I had a dream that the remaining money in the now non-existent Bach Chorus treasury would be used to perform something by Bach. While at lunch with David in October 2013, I approached him with my idea. He gave it some thought, long enough to eat part of our lunch, and said, "Joanne, I think I can do it, and what's more, I would love to do Bach's St. John Passion."

MinnPost (September 29)

Why do so few citizens participate in our democracy?

In the period 1990-2010, the United States comes in 29th out of 31 democracies in percentage of the voting-age population that actually votes, with an average turnout of 57.28 percent. This is the first in an occasional series comparing the U.S. system of politics and elections with other democracies around the world. Democracy. I suppose, that as long as people have a right to vote, it is up to them whether they choose to exercise that right. I'm not interested in making excuses for lazy or tuned-out voters, but Professor Bingham Powell of the University of Rochester, a veteran comparer of different systems of democracy, urges me (and you) to bear in mind that lots of things affect voter turnout other than interest and competence of the voters.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (September 20)

UR Press celebrates 25 years

With the University of Rochester Press, numbers don’t tell its story. None of the more than 600 books that the University of Rochester Press has published over the years can be found on bestseller lists. But that doesn’t make the UR Press — or for that matter most other university presses — any less important in the dissemination of knowledge, even though this form of specialized publishing is facing hard times. Beginning its 26th year this month, the UR Press has provided a needed avenue for academic research and is holding a variety of events this fall to celebrate its first 25 years.

Rochester City Newspaper (September 17)

Artists with class

Since 2005, University of Rochester professors and new media artists Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint have created numerous collaborative projects under the title EcoArtTech. The duo deals in the kind of interdisciplinary art-making which is less about tangible aesthetics than about creating what they call "interventions" interrupting pre-conceived ideas regarding our definitions of nature, the uses of technology, and our navigation of both. Though Nadir offers environmental humanities courses in UR's Sustainability and Digital Media Studies programs, and Peppermint is currently Assistant Professor of Digital Art, their teaching reach extends beyond your average humanities or studio art student. Nadir's student, Mary Willis, a double major in Epidemiology and Environmental Studies with a minor in Film and Media Studies, plans to pursue a Masters in Public Health, and aspires to be an environmental epidemiologist.

WHEC TV NBC 10 Rochester (September 11)

Eastman School of Music students appear on late night TV

Some Eastman School of Music students will get a lot of attention when they go to class today. Their video was featured on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

(Also reported in: Hulu, WHEC-TV, Bridgeton News )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (August 30)

Thumbs up, thumbs down

THUMBS UP For the approximately 1,450 University of Rochester students who took part in this year's Wilson Day community service projects. Volunteers provided services to more than 50 sites during the 26th annual event, which commemorates UR alumnus and former trustee Joseph C. Wilson and his dedication to community service.

WHEC TV NBC 10 Rochester (September 20)

U of R students move into new dorms after weeks of staying in hotels

University of Rochester students have been anxiously waiting for this day for weeks. Over one hundred upper classmen and women moved in to their dorms at Brooks Crossing on Saturday. They started bright and early, carrying all their furniture, including beds, mattresses and bags in for the first time. After staying in a hotel for the past month, students say they're relieved to finally be able to move in. A total of 170 University of Rochester students had planned to move into Brooks Crossing by August 1st, but construction on the eleven story building wasn't finished by the beginning of the semester. As a result, students had to stay in hotels as far away as downtown Rochester.

(Also reported in: WHEC-TV )

WROC TV CBS 8 Rochester (September 24)

Sound Exchange Performs at Fringe Festival

One of the hundreds of shows in the Rochester Fringe Festival is the standout string quartet called Sound ExChange. It's made of up graduates from the Eastman School of Music. Sound Exchange performed Wednesday Night at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center. To find out more about Sound ExChange, click here.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (September 22)

Cheeburger Cheeburger moving from Port of Rochester

College Town, the mixed-use development near the University of Rochester in the city, may have a grocery store, if efforts to secure federal financing prove successful. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is trying to secure $750,000 in federal financing for the project, which is led by Rochester's Action for a Better Community. The federal money is intended to go to cities with "food deserts," referring to urban pockets not served by a readily accessible supermarket. Schumer thinks markets like this are important if the poverty that afflicts some parts of the city is to be alleviated. He said private funds likely won't go to the project without the federal leverage.

WHEC TV (September 16)

Have you heard of the Rochester Laptop Orchestra?

Get ready for the 2014 First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival. Its a celebration of all genres of art that gets underway Thursday. Something else thats new this year -- the Rochester Laptop Orchestra. It is a relatively new art form where youre most likely to see the conductor waving a Wii remote rather than a baton.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (September 15)

Glazers' deaths point to need for succession plans

Sometimes, a plan is only as good as the people carrying it out. Coca-Cola Inc. lost its inspirational CEO Roberto Goizueta to cancer in 1997, and the company struggled through some down years trying to create an executive mix that worked. Still, Cliff Smith, Epstein Professor of Business Administration and professor of finance and economics at the University of Rochester's Simon Business School, said having an array of vice presidents ready to step into the big job is a feature of succession planning that works in the corporate world. "They want their shot at the brass ring," Smith said of the echelon of management below CEO, CFO, president or chairman of the board.

WXXI News (September 11)

Connections: Domestic Violence and Why Women Stay

The Ray Rice video proves one thing, among others: the Baltimore Ravens engaged in rather horrifying victim blaming. The team promoted a story on its website earlier this summer with the headline, "Janay Rice deeply sorry for her role in elevator incident." Yes, her role. But now there are people who want to know why she's staying with this guy, and that has inspired the meme #WhyIStayed. We talk to a panel about gender-specific abuse, and why women stay. Jamie Saunders, CEO, Alternatives for Battered Women Dr. Catherine Cerulli, Director, Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership

(Also reported in: WXXI )

Rochester City Newspaper (September 10)

"New Ghosts for a New Age: Yoshitoshi's 'New Forms of 36 Ghosts'"

When the long-isolated Japanese society was opened to the West in 1868, fundamental shifts in the social structure, politics, military, and economy transpired. Master woodcut artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi was an eyewitness to the conflict and change, and while many artists of his day reflected these shifts, Yoshitoshi spent his final years immortalizing Japan's history and stories. The Memorial Art Gallery recently opened "New Ghosts for a New Age: Yoshitoshi's 'New Forms of 36 Ghosts,'" featuring color woodblock prints from the Arthur R. Miller collection. If you're over the tried-and-true haunts this Halloween, this show provides plenty of eerie, old, new-to-you lore to keep the imagination stoked.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (September 15)

Regional councils make their pitch to state

The ceremony is grand, and the awards are large. And this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will dole out $750 million for projects across the state prior to the Nov. 4 election — instead of December as has been the practice. Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester and a co-chair of the Finger Lakes council, said the region has benefited from the state aid. “Our story is a simple one: We’re a region in transformation, and we’re beginning to pick up speed,” Seligman said. The Finger Lakes region got $59.8 million last year after being one of the top award winners in 2012 with $96 million. Seligman said the investments in the park have led to 1,300 new jobs since 2011, predicting it could be one “of the most thriving industrial business parks in the country” with 30,000 to 40,000 jobs. “But it’s not going to happen overnight,” he said.

(Also reported in: Poughkeepsie Journal )

Rochester Business Journal (September 5)

The Loop-Degrees of delicacy

UR’s dining services recently ranked sixth on the 2014 list of 75 Best Colleges for Food in America by the Daily Meal. The online publication determined its rankings by looking at the quality of the food and the area food scene, as well as health/sustainability, accessibility, events, uniqueness and student feedback on online platforms. “Ever wondered what it would be like to live in Rochester? Well according to Yelp, it would be pretty darn delicious. UR had the second-highest Yelp rating of the whole bunch,” the Daily Meal explains. “Not only does this recognize our focus on sustainability within dining services, but it helps us to spread the word about the things we’re working on, the values that are important to us,” says Cam Schauf, UR director of campus dining services and auxiliary operations.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (September 5)

10 Things to Do This Weekend

The 58th annual M&T Bank Clothesline Festival showcases works by hundreds of artists and artisans. Live entertainment, food vendors and family art activities are also planned. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Memorial Art Gallery. Admission is $5 (free to ages 10 and younger accompanied by an adult). Call (585) 276-8900 or go to

(Also reported in:Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

Rochester Business Journal (September 5)

Consumers harness power of the Internet, social media

With timely letters, phone calls or in-person conversations with employees, customers have expressed their praise or criticism to companies in largely private and often controllable exchanges for decades. But with the rise of the Internet, consumers have found ways to be louder, expressing their opinions before a much larger audience. “The problem is, and the opportunity is, that negative posts as well as positive posts—but I think particularly negative posts by consumers—really travel like wildfire,” says George Cook, executive professor of business administration at the University of Rochester. “And if there’s anybody out there who happens to be looking at those posts who happens to be wanting to buy what that individual bought at that store … guess what? They’re probably not going to go there.”

Rochester Business Journal (August 29)

Rochester a prime spot for national optics center

If a national optics center is created in the United States, the Rochester area is a good place to put it. That is the view of Susan Christopherson, professor and chairwoman of Cornell University’s department of city and regional planning. Christopherson is to participate in a panel discussion on the idea of a national center of optics and photonics during the RRPC/New York Photonics annual meeting Sept. 4. The event is scheduled for 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. The fee to attend is $45. In addition to Christopherson, other speakers include: Paul Ballentine, associate director, Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences, University of Rochester.

Rochester Business Journal (August 29)

For Simon School dean, stature matters most

Dire predictions of the demise of the college business school would be enough to scare most deans, but Andrew Ainslie is familiar with genuine fear. The new dean at the University of Rochester's Simon Business School, Ainslie is developing a plan to increase the schools national stature even as experts predict contraction for on-campus MBA programs.

WXXI PBS News (August 28)

Connections: Why we love music from our childhood

In this hour, why do we still love the songs we loved in middle school. Even if they're awful. Why is that? And why do kids tend to loathe their parents' music? We look at the psychology of music from our childhood, and yes, we'll play some guilty pleasures with our panel: John Covach, director of the Institute for Popular Music at the University of Rochester; Dick Storms, partner at Record Archive; Andrea Levendusky, artist, writer for 585

Catholic Courier (September 2)

Churches welcome mentally ill

Donald Stephens encountered depression at a young age. Even as a child, he felt like an outsider in his own family and battled with depression and anxiety. In adolescence, he found that alcohol eased his pain, so he began drinking liquor. Much attention has focused in the past few months on churches and their relationships with people struggling with mental illness. Although many pastoral leaders and laypeople alike agree on the need to emulate Jesus and welcome the mentally ill into church communities, quite often their unfamiliarity with mental illness makes them unsure how to do so, noted Father Brian Cool, director of the University of Rochester's Newman Community.

Elizabethtown Chronicle (September 13)

College Scene: Relin roars at Rochester

Junior field hockey standout Michelle Relin is moving up the ladder in the University of Rochester record book and she made a big statement for the 4-0 Yellowjackets when she was named Liberty League Performer of the Week. Relin (Manheim Township) has six goals in four games, all victories, and had a goal in a 3-2 triumph over SUNY-Oneonta and two goals, including the game-winner, in a 4-2 victory over Ithaca.