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December 18, 2008  Volume 30, No. 16
Lowenstein to speak at University Forum on Jan. 13

Tim Lowenstein, professor of geological sciences and environmental studies, will discuss “Ancient Rocks and Future Climates” at the next Binghamton University Forum, scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 13, in the Anderson Center Reception Room.

The faculty luncheon forum will begin with a buffet at 11:30 p.m.; the formal program will start at noon.

Lowenstein, who has been with the University since 1985 and was selected as one of the three distinguished lecturers in 2006-07 by the Mineralogical Society of America, will share his research discoveries and their climatic implications.

For more information, e-mail or call the Forum office at 777-4390.

Proposals sought for interdisciplinary grants

The Division of Research seeks proposals for the 2009 Interdisciplinary Collaboration Grants Program.

This program is for investigators who seek to enhance their research opportunities through collaboration with others at Binghamton and may include projects that represent a new research agenda. Proposals from all areas of scholarship are encouraged; requests may be for a maximum of $10,000.  All projects must lead to the development of a proposal for external support.

Questions about proposal preparation or budgeting should be directed to the staff at the Office of Sponsored Programs.  Full guidelines are posted at

Questions about eligibility or scope of the program should be addressed to Stephen Gilje, associate vice president for research, at or 777-6136.  Applications must be delivered to Gilje by March 16. It is anticipated that awards will be made by May 1.

Alumni group, Theatre Department offer trip to Scotland

The Binghamton University Alumni Association and the Department of Theatre are offering a tour of Scotland, which will take place Aug. 7-16, 2009. The tour is open to the public.

Theatre professors Tom Kremer and Carol Hanscom will serve as faculty hosts. Travelers will hunt for the Loch Ness Monster and explore Inverness in the Highlands before traveling to the North Sea coast. The trip includes a stop at Dunnottar Castle, an ancient coastal fortress. After a visit to St. Andrew’s, the tour makes its way to Edinburgh, home of Fringe 2009, the world’s largest performing arts festival.

The cost is $2,599 per person for a shared accommodation. That price includes roundtrip airfare, lodging, entrance and admission fees, and some meals. Anyone interested in the trip must make a $500 deposit as soon as possible.

For more information, call Kremer at 777-2456, Steve Seepersaud, alumni communications specialist, at 777-2431, or Travel with the Experts at (732) 292-0034.

A detailed itinerary can be found in the “Alumni Events and Networks” section of

Money management workshops will be held Jan. 8

Three money management workshops are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 8, for University staff, retirees and their families with Cindy Faulkner of Cornell Cooperative Extension.

The workshops are:

• “Your Finances: Making Ends Meet,” 9-10:30 a.m.

• “Your Finances: Save Energy, Save $$,” 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

• “Your Finances: Making Ends Meet,” 1-2:30 p.m.

The workshops, sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program and the University Center for Training and Development, will meet in UUW-B09 and are limited to 14 participants.  Sign up at

For information, contact EAP, 777-6655 or

Wireless registrations will be reset Jan. 14

The validation system for computers and other devices connecting to the University wireless network will be reset by Information Technology Services on Jan. 14.

The registration process for the wireless network is required for all clients every semester. Windows and Mac operating systems will be checked to confirm that current antivirus software definitions are installed. Windows operating systems will be checked to confirm that all critical updates are installed and that updates are set to automatically download and install.

Clients can validate on or after Jan. 14 by accessing

In the News

Burrell Montz, chair of geography, was mentioned in several articles about flood insurance in the DesMoinesRegister (Iowa), Sioux City Journal (Iowa) and Insurance Journal (Calif.) throughout July. Montz, a flood expert, suggested that many Iowan homeowners figure there is little if any chance that flooding will affect their properties. Furthermore, many of them believe that the federal government will care for them if they lack insurance, according to Montz.

Anthony Kendall, president of the Alumni Association, was featured in the July issue of Earthtimes and on about his promotion to CEO of Mitchell & Titus. Mitchell & Titus is the largest minority-controlled accounting, audit, tax and business advisory firm in the United States. Kendall received his MBA in finance and taxation and a B.S. in accounting from the University. He will replace the firm’s current CEO and founder, Bert Mitchell.

Stanley Salthe, visiting professor of biological sciences, was featured July 11 in the online news source Scoop, where he discussed evolution. Salthe, who recently hosted an online conversation among scientists about an article on natural selection, dismisses the theory. Salthe defines Darwin’s theory of evolution as “just unexplainable caprice from top to bottom” and “what evolves is just what happened to happen.”

Jessica Fridrich, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and her method of photo tampering detection was noted in PC Magazine and Extreme Tech on July 14. Photoshop forgery detectors have been using algorithms based on Fridrich’s “Detection of Copy-Move Forgery in Digital Images” to identify photography fraud.

Reinhard Bernbeck, professor of anthropology, was interviewed about a World Archaeological Congress (WAC) resolution in The Berliner Zeitung (Germany) on July 14. The WAC introduced a resolution that expresses itself against a participation of its members in American war plans against Iran. “The collaboration with the military in the preparation of an attack means nothing other than that the archeologist is involved in the attack. That is ethically objectionable,” Bernbeck said. As an “expert on Iran,” Bernbeck did not consider it realistic that archeological sites in Iran could escape the destruction caused by war.

Mary Ann Swain, provost and vice president of academic affairs, discussed the proposal of a new law school in The Times Union of Albany and RedOrbit on July 21. “Binghamton would fill the need for a low-cost public law school,” Swain said. Low tuition would mean more students would graduate with less debt, and according to Swain, that would help them find work in the public sector.

Maria Gillan, professor of English, was featured in The Herald News (N.J.) on July 21 regarding the use of her poetry in an upcoming course. Gillan’s poems will be one of the subjects of a poetry course offered at Swansea University in Wales. Her poetry will be taught alongside that of literary icons Walt Whitman and Robert Frost. “I hope I am still writing poetry even if I have to hold the pen in my teeth,” Gillan said.

Thomas Kowalik, director of Continuing Education and Outreach, was featured in The New York Times on July 27. He was quoted as saying, “the notion that summer is a crucial piece of an academic program is a new idea to colleges.” Kowalik said colleges have traditionally looked at summer as an afterthought, mostly a way to market to outsiders. But according to the North American Association of Summer Sessions, 87 percent of summer enrollees are an institution’s regular students.

William Stein, associate professor of biological sciences, was featured in Science Illustrated on July 31 for his discovery of a near-complete fossil tree from the first forest on Earth. The tree had been well preserved, complete with trunk and branches, which dated back to 385 million years ago. Stein had been called in to assess the fossil tree. “Our reconstruction shows them to be a lot longer and much more treelike than any of the reconstructions before,” Stein told LiveScience. The tree stood nearly 30 feet tall and looked like a modern palm.

Binghamton University was featured in over 25 news publications including Earthtimes (UK), The San Francisco Business Times and Fox Business News Network after being named one of 11 colleges in the nation included in The Princeton Review’s “green rating.” The schools were ranked using measures such as commitments to environmental responsibility and how well the school teaches its students to be good environmental citizens.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08