A single mother of a 4½-year-old daughter, Casey VanKuren juggles responsibilities as a Discovery Adviser, founder of the Binghamton Gaming Group, SOS Children’s Shelter volunteer and mentor to a sixth-grader. This fall, add tour guide duties and an elementary school internship.
Casey VanKuren, junior, double major in English and human development
John Vernon, distinguished professor of English, reviewed the book The Colour by Rose Tremain for "The New York Times Book Review." Vernon likens The Colour to a marriage of Emily Bronte and Paul Bowles, calling it "smart, lumpy with sentiment, brutal and oddly funny – a sort of carnival in hell."
U.S. Representative Maurice D. Hinchey, D-Saugerties, announced that he has included a $2.2 million earmark for Binghamton University as part of the Department of Defense spending bill for fiscal 2004. The grant, which will be used for an Advanced Sensor Design and Threat Detection Facility, has been approved by the House Appropriations Committee and also requires Senate approval. The announcement was reported by the Associated Press.
Ali Mazrui, director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, was quoted in the Financial Times of London about President George W. Bush’s visit to Africa. Mazrui spoke about concerns by some in Africa and Kenya in particular, "There are worries about what pressures (Mr. Bush) will bring to legislate and interfere with the civil liberties of societies as part of the war against terror," he said.
Ron Miles, professor of mechanical engineering, was featured on the Osgood File on the CBS Radio Network. He spoke about how what he has learned from how a particular fly hears can be applied to development of tiny directional microphones that can be used in hearing aids. "It’s all kind of inspired by what the fly could do," said Miles. "It’s cool, it’s definitely cool." The Osgood File is hosted by Charles Osgood.
Susan Bane, professor of chemistry, was featured in Biotech Week and Cancer Weekly and Drug Week for her research into the anticancer drug Taxol. Bane and her collaborators are trying to learn more about the protein tubulin, which is found in all cells, and what Taxol does to tubulin. "If you want to build a new drug based on an old one," she said, "you have to know how the original works. We are laying that foundation."
Ali Mazrui, director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, was appointed one of seven chancellors of Kenya’s public universities by Mwai Kibaki, Kenya’s president. According to the report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, "the move was meant to lessen government control of higher education and reduce intimidation of professors and students." Mazrui is a native of Kenya and will serve as chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
David Sloan Wilson, professor of biological sciences, was interviewed about "how niceness evolves" for The Guardian of London. The article explained how Wilson became involved in evolutionary biology, and delves into his thoughts about religion as well. According to the article, Wilson believes that religion encourages collective action when the interviewer writes, "The worship of a common god, he believes, is really the worship of a common good, to whom everyone in the tribe or religion must defer."
Binghamton University alumna Kathleen Cardone ’76 was confirmed by the Senate to serve a federal judgeship in El Paso, Texas, according to a Gannett News Service report. She has served twice as a state district judge in Texas, was the first judge to serve in the 388th Judicial District Court and founded the El Paso County Domestic Relations Office.
Liz Rosenberg, professor of English, reviewed two books of poems for the Boston Globe: Sparrow by Carol Muske-Dukes and The Long Marriage: Poems by Maxine Kumin. Writing that author Muske-Dukes created a book that is almost unbearably sad, Rosenberg said Muske-Dukes "deeply understood her husband’s, art, and she deeply understands her own, rendering even deepest sorrow as lovely, as haunting as birdsong." Of Kumin, Rosenberg wrote that she is "a writer of great tensile strength, grace under pressure" and "writes a book of mortal beauty, aiming always at life ongoing…"
Binghamton University’s political science faculty appeared in an article in USA Today about diversifying colleges’ political tilt that reported on a study from the University of California at Berkeley. The study concluded that "disparate conservatives share a resistance to change and acceptance of inequality." The article reported that, according to the American Enterprise Institute, Binghamton’s political science faculty lean to the left in their views at a ratio of 20 to 1.
In a question and answer column, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution responded to a question about U.S. News & World Report rankings as they relate to SAT scores. The newspaper ran a list of the top schools based on entering freshman SATs/ACTs from last year’s U.S. News results, and Binghamton was ranked 12th in the nation.
Ali Mazrui, director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, was quoted in Africa News about what dialect is to become the official African language. Some argue that Kiswahili, spoken by East Africans, is the language of slaves. Others disagree. "Embracing other people’s insults to our culture and legacy is not the best way to promote ourselves or our countries," said Mazrui. According to the article, he said Kiswahili is the most successful African language and if any language is to become the official African language, it will be Kiswahili.
Ali Mazrui, director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, was interviewed for an article in Africa News and the Sunday Times of South Africa about his recent visit to South Africa. The interview focused on Mazrui’s involvement in the anti-apartheid struggle. He was quoted as saying that political apartheid was being dismantled, but economic apartheid remained intact. "I hope economic apartheid will also be dismantled without provoking any further racial conflict," he said.
Ali A. Mazrui, Albert Schweitzer professor of the Humanities and director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, was quoted in a Global News Wire account about efforts to establish a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission for Kenya. Mazrui, who is also chancellor of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya, said "The whole concept of the South and Truth Commission and Reconciliation was a trade off between truth and reconciliation on one side and justice on the other side."
Dave Simek, coordinator of basketball operations and external affairs, was quoted in an article about how the local economy and a wider choice of camps might impact enrollment in summer sport programs. Simek noted that BU’s programs have not suffered too much this year as enrollments were running in stride with last summer. However, Simek did note: "The competition is up in terms of the number of offerings. There’s so many more options."
Anne Clark, associate professor of biological sciences, was quoted in an article about her work in tracking the West Nile virus in the Greater Binghamton area. Clark is collaborating with the county Health Department to track the movement and death of diseased crows, a species affected by West Nile virus. The social nature of the birds puts them at greater risk of being infected. Clark noted: "This suggests a new evolutionary force. Being social could be dangerous."
Kevin Wright, professor of criminology, was quoted in an article regarding the escape of two murderers from the Elmira Correctional Facility. Wright noted that prison escapees typically seek to flee the state or try to cross into Canada and often steal to survive. Wright noted: "With folks really trying to get away and stay away, they’re generally caught when they commit another crime. Eventually they will get caught."
Amadou "Jacky" Kaba, a researcher for the Institute for Global Cultural Studies, was quoted in an article regarding the conflict in Liberia. Kaba, a Liberian native, noted with disappointment that many Americans, who share kinship with Liberians, do not know too much about Liberia. "I went to high school in the U.S. and people didn’t even know about Liberia, even the adults. How can you have a special relationship when these people don’t even know you?"
Scott Oliver, assistant professor of chemistry, was quoted in an article related to his research and development of a new class of inorganic crystalline material that could change the way industrial pollutants are cleaned up and removed from the environment. Oliver noted that the complexity of his work relates to finding the right combinations of compounds ands connects. "It’s intuition. It’s hard making something new. Ninety percent of the time, you end up making something that’s already in existence."
Kevin Wright, professor of criminology, was quoted in an article regarding whether a plea bargain can lower the rate of death penalty cases. Wright noted that no research shows that death is used to force a plea. He added, "Nationwide most states don’t use it." Wright went on to say that what the plea bargain does is save money. Wright was also quoted in an article regarding a case in which a Broome County sheriff’s deputy was killed. The article discussed what a life sentence in a state prison would be like for a pair of men who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. Wright noted that it would be hard to endure at first as it takes eight to 10 years to accept such a punishment. Wright noted "The finality of this won’t hit them right away."
John Vestal, professor of theater, was quoted in an article on the passing of comedian Bob Hope. Vestal noted that Hopes’ comedic skills, marked by a quick mind that could turn any situation into something humorous were "top notch."
Hari Srihari, professor of systems science and industrial engineering, was quoted in an article about a BU project that will help the emergency room at the Wilson Memorial Regional Medical Center become more efficient. Using industrial engineering principles, the project will soon be extended to other parts of the hospital. Srihari noted "In manufacturing, you never reach a point where you say this is as good as it can be. We’re using the same thought for emergency rooms."
Cheryl Brown, director of admissions, and Andrew Morris, associate director of undergraduate admission, were quoted in an article regarding the increase in the number of women attending New York colleges. Morris noted that the gender gap is even more pronounced within minority groups. "Female high school students see college as a means to be able to get into careers and earning situations to provide for themselves and their families." Brown added that that maturity levels between genders may also be factor in the increase in number of women attending colleges. She noted "Women come out of high school with a more mature focus on their futures."
Subimal Chatterjee, associate professor of marketing, was quoted in an article regarding the increase in the number of young adults who choose to go wireless for their phone call needs. Chatterjee noted that the challenge for telephone companies is to increase their efforts to retain customers who are finding alternatives to the traditional phone service, noting "The critical task for both cellular and land-line operators will be to look at the underlying consumer psychology and use the information to segment the market."
Lynda Shoemaker, coordinator of housing services, and Elizabeth Droz, director of the Counseling Center, were quoted in an article offering tips for college students n how to deal with a roommate. Shoemaker encouraged student to talk to each other before coming to school in order to reach a certain comfort level . "It is all a bit of learning how to live with somebody." Droz suggested talking about differences before they get out of hand, noting "Keep the lines of communication open, do not keep things bottled up."
Peter Gerhardstein, associate professor of psychology, was quoted in an article relating to how we perceive the passing of time. Gerhardstein noted that during the winter months, people tend to be less active and the repetition of daily routines such as attending school, meetings and work tend to make time seem to pass more slowly. He also notod that notions of time seem to change as we age – time passes too quickly when we’re young and seems to drag the older we get.
Last Updated: 6/22/10