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February 05, 2009  Volume 30, No. 18
Binghamton on Peace Corps’ college ranking list

Binghamton University is again ranked on the Peace Corps’ top 25 list of major volunteer-producing colleges and universities in the nation. Ranked at 15th among the top 25 medium-sized schools, Binghamton has more alumni serving in the Peace Corps than any other SUNY campus.

“These rankings are a reflection of Binghamton University’s commitment to global awareness and service learning,” President Lois B. DeFleur said. “Our students are regularly recognized for their humanitarian efforts and we are proud that this commitment to service extends for many of them, after they graduate.”

Since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961, more than 230 Binghamton alumni have joined its ranks, serving in countries around the world, including Botswana, Cape Verde, Guatemala, Mongolia and Ukraine. Current service projects include health education and sanitation projects, science, environmental and English teaching assignments, and community development initiatives.

To view the entire Top Peace Corps Universities and Colleges 2009 list, see

Student Excellence nominations due soon

Nominations for juniors for the President’s Award for Undergraduate Student Excellence are due Friday, Feb. 13.

The students will have enriched the Binghamton University community through a record of accomplishment and leadership in such areas as scholarship, student life and community service, all of which reflect the University’s purposes and priorities. Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25.

Three juniors will be selected for the award; each recipient will receive a check for $1,000 and a certificate. Honorable Mention will also be awarded. For complete information on the award, the criteria for selection and the nomination process, go to

For more information, contact Janice McDonald at or 777-4324.

PEC seeks nominees for Distinguished Service Award

The Professional Employees Council seeks nominations of professionals in the campus community for its Distinguished Service Award. The award is given in two categories: one to a professional with less than five years of service and another with five or more years of service.

Colleagues, supervisors or students may make nominations by submitting a form and up to four supporting documents (i.e. letters of support, résumé, job description). Winners will receive a monetary award and a framed certificate presented at the constituency luncheon in the fall. Their names will be also be added to a plaque in the lobby of the Couper Administration Building.

Forms and selection criteria are available at
Completed materials, as well as any questions, should be addressed to Oren Levi, Research Advancement, BI-1218, by March 27 at 777-5681 or

‘Binghamton Research’ magazine is available online

The latest edition of Binghamton Research highlights faculty composer Paul Goldstaub, who dissected his creative process as he set a group of poems to music during the last year.

Readers can also learn about Binghamton faculty members’ newest discoveries in areas ranging from biology to economics and from mechanical engineering to social work.

The magazine is available online at Contact Rachel Coker in the Office of Research Advancement at with questions, comments or requests for the printed magazine.

Dublin Philharmonic to play Feb. 14 at Anderson Center

An Evening of Celtic Traditional and Folk Music, featuring the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra, will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb.14, at the Anderson Center for the Performing Arts.

The Dublin Philharmonic features some of the country’s leading stars, such as fiddler Frankie Gavin, who played a St. Patrick’s Day gala at the White House in 2008. The program will include elements of traditional Irish folk music in new arrangements by Ireland’s best composers including Bill Whelan, composer of Riverdance. Vocalists and a traditional Irish dancer will round out the evening’s program.

The tour is the first part of a series of worldwide concerts to celebrate and promote the culture and spirit of Ireland.

Tourism Ireland will be present to promote tourism in Ireland and there will be an opportunity to win a trip for two.

Single tickets for this event are: $41, general public; $36, seniors, faculty and staff; $21, students. Call the box office at 777-ARTS or visit

In the News

Guangwen Zhou, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was featured in Innovations Report (Germany) for his research on how and why metals suffer corrosion when under stress. “This fundamental research can improve our understanding of metal oxidation on a nonometer scale. This is increasingly critical as the dimensions of devices continue to shrink to nanoscale,” Zhou said.

Sandra Starke, vice provost of enrollment management, was featured in numerous publications in September including The Wall Street Journal, The Arizona Republic, The Post Bulletin (Minn.), and the Star Telegram (Texas) for her comments on whether college admissions staff should use Facebook as a determinant of acceptance. Unlike many enrollment officials, Starke tells her staff to ignore Facebook when analyzing applicants. “At this age, the students are still experimenting. … It’s a time for them to learn. It’s important for them to grow. We need to be careful how we might use Facebook,” Starke said.

Lisa M. Savage, associate professor of psychology, was featured in numerous publications in September, including Pharma Business Week, Health and Medicine Week, and Drug Law Weekly, regarding research findings on amnesia. The report stated, “Diencephalic amnesia manifests itself through a host of neurological and memory impairments. A commonly employed animal model of diencephalic amnesia, pyrithiamine-induced thiamine deficiency, results in brain lesions and impairments…”

C. Michael Mercincavage, executive director of Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR), was featured in The Press and Sun-Bulletin on Sept. 21 about the work of SPIR in upstate New York. Mercincavage stated that SPIR works with 25 companies, primarily in hardware and software development, to work on upgrading and introducing new technology to enhance product development and testing. In addition, students get hands-on experience in the industrial setting that often leads to full-time jobs. 

David Sloan Wilson, distinguished professor of biological sciences, co-authored an article featured in the September issue of American Scientist magazine and about his research on group selection. Evolution “for the Good of the Group” discusses how the process known as group selection was once widely accepted, only to be widely discredited by the scientific community.

Ali A. Mazrui, director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, wrote an article in September for The Independent (Johannesburg) on the impact of race and history on the public perceptions of Barack Obama. Mazrui stated, “Obama may be the final fulfillment of upward mobility. Will he be the ultimate brain gain for Africa? The answer is in the womb of a history which has yet to unfold.”

Bill McCarthy, associate director of the Career Development Center, was quoted in The Examiner (Colo.) on Oct. 10, in  which he discussed how to achieve success at a career fair. In order to be a successful attendee, make a good impression and “begin with a strong handshake, make eye contact and have a resume ready to give to the recruiter,” McCarthy suggested.

Mary Muscari, associate professor in the Decker School of Nursing, was featured in Yahoo! News, and in Quips and Tips for Healthy Women (Canada) in October. Muscari discussed her recommendations on how to protect your children on Halloween night. She suggests that parents dress their children in costumes that allow for adequate vision and mobility, trick or treat in daylight hours, and that they carry flashlights and cell phones.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08