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 Baust, professor of biological sciences, was quoted in an article about recent happenings in the field of cryogenics. The grandson of an elderly Norwegian man had him frozen in dry ice three days after his death, with hopes that one day he can be thawed and brought back to life. Baust was asked to comment on the case, and said that he could not think of a worse way to try to preserve a body.
Lynn Gamwell, director of the University Art Museum, had her book, Exploring the Invisible: Art, Science, and the Spiritual, selected as the editors’ recommendation in Scientific American. The recommendation noted that Gamwell "deals deftly with both the art and science. With 364 illustrations and an unusual linkage of art and science, her book stimulates both the eye and the mind."
Omowunmi Sadik, associate professor of chemistry, had her research into an electronic nose highlighted in a special report on homeland security. Her work was listed in a brief titled "10 Research Projects Meant to Keep You Safer." Her research involves sensors that can sniff out bombs and chemical-warfare agents.
Burrell Montz, professor of geography, was quoted in an article on insuring homes and businesses in flood areas. Montz commented on the methods the Record used to estimate potential flood areas, noting the paper had employed traditional methods used by geographers.
David Sloan Wilson, professor of biological sciences, had his book, Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution. Religion, and the Nature of Society, reviewed in the American Scientist.
David Sloan Wilson, professor of biological sciences, was quoted in an article about taking a scientific look at selfless love. He said that an individualistic focus indicating man is the center of his own universe and not capable of selfless love is misleading. Wilson believes that, even though an altruistic individual might be worse off than a selfish one in terms of survival, groups of altruists are capable of outcompeting groups of selfish people.
Linda Wong, assistant professor of economics, had her work cited in an article about interracial marriage. In her paper on the economics of interracial marriage, she noted that about three-quarters of the intermarriage gap can be explained by the social taboo and the differences in education or income between black men and white men explains less than 1 percent of the gap. "I predict the trend will keep rising. [But] much of it has to do with how the mating taboo evolves," she said.
Katherine Krebs, director of international programs, was quoted in an article about how war with Iraq might affect overseas travel, specifically for students planning on studying abroad. Krebs noted that she had heard more from parents concerned about security but after reviewing the measures taken to ensure student’s safety, they generally feel more confident. Krebs also noted "Although it’s too early to tell regarding the summer and fall programs, I do expect more students to apply for next spring."
Julian Shepherd, associate professor of biological sciences, was quoted in an article regarding a possible early start to the West Nile virus season. When asked whether the mosquito-borne disease could be used to spread bioterror agents, Shepherd noted "That’s not out of the realm of possibility,’ but it was highly unlikely.
Nina Versaggi, director of the Public Archeology Facility (PAF), was quoted in an article about the process of returning sacred artifacts and remains to independent Native American nations in upstate New York. Versaggi and PAF officials met with representatives from the Iroquois Confederacy to review the University’s accumulation of human remains and sacred objects recovered over the years from archeological digs in the Southern Tier.
Scott Handy, assistant professor of chemistry, and Susan Bane, professor of chemistry, were quoted in an article regarding their current research in developing drugs to treat cancer and AIDS. Handy is developing a synthetic compound to mimic compounds found in some sea spongers and coral. Handy noted "We’re building up in essence, a map of what’s needed and what isn’t." Bane’s research involves studying the cancer drug Taxol, which has its origins in yew trees. Bane said "Plants don’t make that compound to treat cancer, It’s not in its optimal form. So we have to think, ‘What can we do to make it better?’"
Subimal Chatterjee, associate professor of marketing, was quoted in an article how Greater Binghamton business were watching and waiting to see how the war with Iraq might affect local and national buying patterns. Chatterjee noted that time is the biggest factor affecting consumer’s willingness to spend on expensive items. He noted "It’s only to be expected that war is going to put a temporary break on big-ticket spending. The longer the war goes on, the longer it will take before economic recovery takes place."
Upinder Dhillon, dean of the School of Management, was quoted in an article on how the war in Iraq has urged investors to be more cautious in handling their investment portfolios. Dhillon noted that resolution of the risk and uncertainly in the world must occur before the economy can recover. He added "If the war is short, we will see a bounce back in the market. But it’s not sustainable because the markets are not underpriced. If it’s a long war, the markets are going to take a beating."
Robert Ostergard, associate director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, and Edward McMahon, director of the Center on Democratic Performance, were quoted in an article regarding how the military decisions made during the early days of the war in Iraq were aimed at avoiding both civilian deaths and extensive casualties. Ostergard noted "It indicates a commitment to try to limit the amount of damage and potential civilian casualties." McMahon went on to note that care needed to be taken in removing Saddam Hussein’s regime. He noted that making very deep cuts could leave Iraq without the necessary postwar leadership to build democracy. Not cutting deep enough and Saddam’s loyalists could botch the works.
Patrick Regan, associate professor of political science, was quoted in an article regarding how propaganda could be used to boost support for war efforts. Regan noted that propaganda has earned a bad name over the years. He noted that it becomes especially confusing when different statements are made about one topic. Regan said "How do we know who’s telling the truth?"
Ali A. Mazrui, director of the Global Cultural Studies, was quoted in an article related to how the war in Iraq has generated anxiety in the Muslim community. Mazrui noted that although great strides toward acceptance had been made under President Clinton, the events of September 11 hurt that image. He also noted that terrorism and the ongoing fight between Israel and Palestinians made Muslims feel alienated.
Richard Andrus, associate professor of biological sciences, was quoted in an article regarding efforts to preserve a local wooded glen, which is up for sale. Owned by IBM, the sale is being monitored by Andrus and local environmentalists who view the glen as a precious resource area. Andres noted ‘It’s a very attractive place. But plenty of people could buy the land and not care about the future."
Last Updated: 6/22/10