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December 06, 2007  Volume 29, No. 14
xTAX team named national finalists

A team of Binghamton students is among five named national finalists in the annual xTAX   contest sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Students Laura Vollmer, Melissa Wolkis, Evan Roth, Pamela Engelberg and Lyudmila Fazylova received a $10,000 prize. They will travel with faculty mentor Elliot Kamlet to the national final competition on Jan. 24 and 25 in Washington, D.C. 

The xTAX (short for extreme tax) program fosters interest among students in the world of tax and provides them with exposure to a “real world” tax case. Teams have two weeks to research a high-level question about a tax issue. There is no one correct answer. Teams must decide what they think is best and prepare a presentation that convinces experts that their solution is the top one.

More than 600 teams from 82 campuses competed in this year’s event.

Memorial service planned for Israel Silva-Merced

Israel Silva-Merced, acting associate director of Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies and a doctoral student in the Sociology Department, died Sunday, Dec. 2, at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton. He was 54.

Silva-Merced held a master’s degree in history from Binghamton and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico.

Silva-Merced, who taught courses ranging from Latinos in the United States to Hunger and Homelessness, received a Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2002.

He will be remembered during a memorial service from 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, in the Susquehanna Room.

Silva-Merced, who had traveled widely, enjoyed music, poetry and photography.


Event to highlight graduate research

The Graduate Student Organization, in conjunction with the Graduate School and Division of Research, will hold the Second Annual Graduate Student Research Day from 10 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, in the old Union.

GSRD will feature Binghamton’s best and brightest graduate students presenting their work in the forms of poster sessions and panels. If you are not conducting research, consider presenting about any specific area of your studies that you find interesting. Poster sessions will last about two hours. Plenary sessions will consist of individual presentations followed by a question-and-answer period.

To participate, students must submit presentation abstracts to the GSO office through campus mail or by e-mail to (title the e-mail “Abstract for GSRD”) by Friday, Dec. 21. Include your name, department and telephone number. Your abstract should include a brief description of your work, preference for whether you would like to present at a plenary session or a poster session and your general findings.


Toy donations bring chance to win free parking

Parking Services is again sponsoring a Toys for Tots campaign.

Drop-off barrels are in the Visitors Paid Lot, the Parking Garage, the Information Booth, Parking Services office, Admissions office, the lobby of the Couper Administration Building and the lobby of the University Downtown Center. Anyone who brings in a new toy while the barrel locations are staffed may register for a drawing. On Dec. 21, four names will be drawn. Each of the winners will receive five days of free parking in the paid lot or the garage.

Leadership development program offered

Continuing Education and Outreach will offer a Leadership Development Certificate Program. The non-credit course will meet from 4-7 p.m. Wednesdays from Jan. 16-May 28 at the University Downtown Center.

The fee of $1,995 includes materials, parking and dinner. The program consists of four experiential learning modules: Introduction to Leadership, Communication and Leadership, Business and Process and Organizational Leadership and Relationships. It’s geared toward team leaders and managers as well as high-potential individuals preparing for future leadership positions.

To register, call 777-6857 or visit http://continuinged.binghamton. edu.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08