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April 23, 2009  Volume 30, No. 28
Volunteers sought for commencement ceremonies

Commencement organizers invite faculty, staff and students to support the spring 2009 graduates by volunteering at one or more commencement ceremonies, Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17. Participation will ensure events run smoothly and the atmosphere is enjoyable for graduates and their guests.

Volunteers may choose from the following opportunities: ticket taking at the door; assisting families with photos; distributing programs; assisting guests with seating; assembling students for the processional; or assisting where most needed.

Volunteers may choose one or more ceremonies: Harpur College morning ceremony, 8:30 a.m., Sunday, May 17; professional schools (School of Management, Decker School of Nursing, College of Community and Public Affairs and Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science) ceremony, noon, Sunday, May 17; Harpur College afternoon ceremony, 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 17; or The Graduate School ceremony, 5 p.m. Saturday, May 16.

Upon successful registration, volunteers will receive an e-mail with details such as parking locations, training information, arrival times, event dress code and activity responsibilities.
To register, go to, and click on Volunteer.

Binghamton takes New York RecycleMania title

Binghamton University has captured the New York State Grand Champion title for RecycleMania ’09 — sweeping the categories for Cardboard Collection and Bottles and Cans.

Nationally, Binghamton placed third out of 210 colleges and universities for Bottles and Cans and hit the top 10 percent for all other categories.

Check Binghamton’s stats at If you have any questions about RecycleMania, or recycling in general, e-mail Juliet Berling at

Wisconsin professor to speak at Couper Lecture

William J. Reese, the Carl F. Kaestle WARF Professor of Educational Policy Studies and History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will present the 17th Annual Edgar W. Couper Lecture at 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 24, in AB-347.

Reese will discuss “The Summer of ’45 and the First Big Tests.” A reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. in AB-124.

Reese teaches courses on the history of American education and the history of childhood and adolescence. His recent books include America’s Public Schools: From the Common School to ‘No Child Left Behind.’ Reese was named a Fellow by the American Educational Research Association in 2008.

The lecture is funded by the Edgar W. Couper Endowment Fund for Educational Excellence.

Solar energy leadership boosted at University

To ensure the advancement of Binghamton University’s growing strength in solar energy research, Seshu Desu and Mary Ann Swain, provost and vice president for academic affairs, have announced that Desu will resign as dean of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science effective June 1. Desu will become executive director of the Center for Autonomous Solar Power (CASP) and will also serve as a senior adviser to Swain.

In establishing CASP, Desu has made major contributions in the use of flexible electronics to fabricate solar collectors, proposing key initiatives to make them light-weight, portable and usable as movable equipment and garments. He has made great strides in the use of supercapacitors to store solar energy, which could be used in clothing or to power electronics. Desu has also been instrumental in securing over $4.5 million in federal funding for CASP.

“To advance our efforts in solar energy research will require a comprehensive plan, sustained leadership and a considerable investment of time and energy,” Swain said. “To realize the promise of these innovative ideas and to meet our obligations to this federal initiative, I am pleased that we will be able to count on Dr. Desu’s foresight and problem-solving. Building on our strengths in solar energy will require thinking outside the box, and Seshu is certainly well qualified to advance this project.”

Swain has asked the faculty and staff of the Watson School to provide comments about the transition and nominations for new leadership. She will also meet with the Watson Faculty Senate representatives, Watson department chairs, President Lois B. DeFleur and other constituents as part of the decision-making process. Swain hopes to name a replacement in early summer. 

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Last Updated: 10/14/08