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May 15, 2008  Volume 29, No. 31
'07 graduate receives prestigious fellowship

Matthew August Olexa, who graduated from Binghamton last year with a major in Arabic Studies, has been awarded the National Security Education Program Boren Fellowship.

Olexa, 22, of Burlington, Conn., said the fellowship of up to $24,000 will fund overseas study. He plans to apply to the Center for Arabic Study Abroad as well as other programs that offer intensive Arabic language courses. In accepting the award, Olexa agrees to work for the federal government for a year.

He plans to enroll in a two-year master’s program.

R. Kevin Lacey, associate professor and chair of Classical and Near Eastern Studies and director of the Middle East and North African Studies Program, supported Olexa’s application for the fellowship. He said Olexa’s award reflects the growing popularity and importance of Arabic as well as the quality of Binghamton’s students.

Nominees sought for NEH Program

The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced the deadline for its Summer Stipend Program for 2008.

The competition is open to faculty and staff proposing a plan of work in the humanities and related studies. The program provides a basic stipend of $6,000. Two applicants from Binghamton will be chosen by a nomination process involving the deans and the vice president for research. At least one applicant must be a junior faculty member. The two nominees will be notified by June 20 and will have about three months to prepare a full proposal.

For more details, see

Students honored as scholar athletes

Five Binghamton students received the 2007-08 SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar Athlete Award, which recognizes a combination of academic excellence and outstanding athletic achievement. Soccer players Adam Chavez and Kim Povill, pole vaulter Rory Quiller, volleyball player Jacqueline Kane and golfer Zachary Vinal were among 76 students honored.

Special Olympics seeks volunteers for games

Volunteers are needed to fill key roles in support of the Special Olympics’ state summer games in Binghamton. Participants will staff sports venues, set up and break down venues, distribute lunches to athletes and coaches, support opening ceremonies and cheer athletes.

The games begin with an opening ceremony at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 12, at the Events Center and continue with athletic competition Friday and Saturday, June 13 and 14, on and off campus.

For details and to register, visit and click on Summer Games or e-mail

Young poet's writing attracts national attention

Graduating senior Rachel Woodward, recipient of the Andrew Bergman Creative Writing Scholarship for 2008, has received national recognition for her poetry.

Woodward’s poem What Is Lost, What Is Found was named an Honorable Mention in the AWP Intro Journals Awards, a national contest for graduate and undergraduate students. Eight poems were chosen for publication in the participating literary journals and five honorable mentions were named.

Poetry and the Children event planned May 21

More than 400 students from 12 school districts will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 21, in the Osterhout Concert Theater for the 31st annual Poetry and the Children Day.

The program, which brings students together for a day of poetry readings, was established as a memorial to Robert Pawlikowski. A poet, creative writing instructor and campus administrative assistant, Pawlikowski died in 1975. This year’s guest poet is Joe Weil, a member of the English Department faculty.

Underwritten by the Oakdale Mall and alumna Susan Clark-Johnson, an anthology is prepared by the Office of the Dean of Harpur College and distributed to teachers and libraries.

Musical theater workshop sets audition schedule

The musical Beauty and the Beast will be presented by the Summer Youth Musical Theater Workshop sponsored by the Music Department and Continuing Education and Outreach.

The workshop  for children ages 12-18 runs from July 28-Aug. 17 and includes voice training, acting and improvisation, movement and dance, stagecraft experience, makeup and costumes.

Auditions will be held May 30 and 31. Students should bring one musical theater piece and one memorized monologue (one to two minutes long). Call-backs will be held June 7.
The registration deadline is May 20. The cost of the program is $395; a deposit of $100 is required for the registration and audition. For more information, visit or call 777-6857.


The Graduate School recently announced the winners of the Distinguished Dissertation Awards.

Humanities and fine arts:
Vern Walker, comparative literature, Pacifism’s Precarity. Principal dissertation supervisor: Gisela Brinker-Gabler.

Social sciences, management, education and nursing:
Marta Alfonso, anthropology, Biosignificance of Harris Lines as Stress Markers in Relation to Moderate Undernutrition and Bone Growth Velocity: A New Zealand White Rabbit Model for the Study of Bone Growth. Principal dissertation supervisor: Michael Little.

Ariel Belasen, economics, The Impact of Exogenous Shocks on Local Labor Markets. Principal dissertation supervisor: Solomon Polachek.

Deanna Gillespie, history, They Walk, Talk, and Act Like New People: Black Women and the Citizenship Education Program, 1957-1970. Principal dissertation supervisor: Kathryn K. Sklar.

Engineering and applied science:
Hongkun Zhao, computer science, Automatic Wrapper Generation for the Extraction of Search Result Records from Search Engines. Principal dissertation supervisor: Weiyi Meng.

Science and mathematics:
Omar Eldakar, biology, The Evolution of Self-Limited Behavioral Strategies. Principal dissertation supervisor: David Sloan Wilson.

Jason Karasinski, chemistry, Design and Implementation of Optical Biosensors and Novel Methods for Microbial Identification. Principal dissertation supervisor: Omowunmi A. Sadik.


John McNulty, assistant professor of political science, was quoted in The Washington Times on Jan. 25, regarding Bill Clinton’s attitude when addressing media. “Clinton goes after the media to control the story himself, and tell reporters what’s in bounds and what’s out of bounds. When he appears fired up and overheated, Clinton also can upstage other stories, particularly from his rivals,” McNulty said. The paper quoted him again Jan. 29 for his comments on a poll.

The Boston Globe featured a book review by Liz Rosenberg, professor of English, on Jan. 27. Rosenberg reviewed Mary McCarthy’s A Closer Look.

Sandra Michael, distinguished service professor of biological sciences, participated in Evolution Weekend, according to Episcopal Life Online on Jan. 28. The event was marked by members of more than 100 Episcopal congregations calling upon scientists and science educators to employ their skills as preachers and teachers. Michael spoke and led a study group at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Northampton, Mass.

Kenneth Lindsay, professor emeritus of art history, was featured in the February issue of The Smithsonian Magazine regarding the “Monuments Men” of World War II.


Furnished 2 BR ground flr apt for sublet May 19-Aug. 24. Rush Ave, (10 min) $1000/season, $100/week. David Svahn 607-547-9788 or

Adoption: Caring, childless Cornell couple want to share our love with a child and are seeking to adopt an infant.  Call 1-800-BETHANY to learn more about Mike & Cathy from Upstate New York or view our letter at, click family profiles, New York, scroll to Mike and Cathy.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08