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
Mary Muscari, associate professor in the Decker School of Nursing, was quoted in The Sun News (SC), The Wichita Eagle (KS) and The Record (Canada) on December 2, 3 and 4, respectively, regarding holiday spending. The article recommends setting a holiday gift budget and sticking to it. Muscari suggests considering presents that don’t have a price tag and remembering what the holidays are really about. Coupons for a walk in the park or a camping trip will be a lot more memorable than toys. “Come January, even early January, ask your kids what they got for Christmas and see how much they actually remember” Muscari said.
Raymond Romanczyk, professor of psychology and director of the Institute for Child Development, was noted in The New York Post on December 3 for his comments on child-friendly tech toys. Toy companies are releasing functional high-tech kid-proof technology instead of a useless facsimile of their parents’ digital gadgets. Cell phones, laptops, MP3 players and digital cameras are becoming available for the three-and-up set. As with all toys, it’s important for parents to oversee their use. That means making sure the “electronic devices aren’t producing social isolation” and “making sure that they’re not becoming a preoccupation, crowding out other things.”
Binghamton University was named in The Poughkeepsie Journal, Earthtimes.org (UK), Market Day (AZ) and United Press International (UPI) on December 4 and Empire State News, The Mid Hudson News and The Money Times (India) on December 5 regarding collaboration between industry and academia in solar energy. Congressman Maurice Hinchey announced an academic coalition between The Solar Energy Consortium (TSEC) and five research universities in New York. Based on the agreement, Binghamton University, along with four universities, will work with TSEC to solve technical problems from within the solar industry preventing more efficient and cheaper solar technology from going to market.
Binghamton University was featured in The Wall Street Journal on December 4 regarding plans to open a law school. “We feel this is the next logical step in the development of our university,” according to President Lois DeFleur. The University would need the approval of New York’s Department of Education, SUNY officials and the governor. If approved, Binghamton University would be the third publicly supported law school in New York.
Drew Hill, web director of communications and marketing, was quoted in The Ithaca Journal on December 7 for his comments on broadband Internet access. Governor Eliot Spitzer unveiled a $5 million plan to improve the speed and availability of high-speed Internet to under-served areas of the state. Without high-speed Internet, citizens are missing out on opportunities available online, Spitzer said. “Broadband is like a water main that supplies an entire community, and dial-up, which most people in rural areas have, is akin to a single pipe in a apartment building with low water pressure,” Hill said.
Binghamton University was featured in The Elmira Star-Gazette on December 10 regarding the University’s first ever fall commencement. The ceremony was held at the Events Center and featured guest speaker Soledad O’Brien, CNN News anchor. “Know that there are a zillion paths to success. Find that success on your own terms,” O’Brien suggested.
An interview with Ken McLeod, chair and professor of bioengineering, was featured in Inside Bay Area (CA), The Argus (CA) and The San Mateo County News (CA) on December 10 and The Lancaster New Era (PA) on December 11 regarding bone growth. In regards to decreasing bone mineral density, McLeod suggests that taking calcium supplements and light exercise are not enough to produce new bone growth. “There has to be a signal to make bone, and it turns out that if you don’t have adequate fluid flow across your bone, you’re not going to have adequate cell metabolism to trigger cell formation,” said McLeod. He also comments that a variety of weightlifting protocols could be the key to bone stimulation.
Ali Mazrui, director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, was listed in US Fed News on December 10 as an honorary chairperson of a United Nations (UN) cultural exposition. The UN Department of Public Information and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassadors’ Caucus will jointly organize a cultural exposition as part of the outreach program in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade at the UN Headquarters. Mazrui will be joined by a host of Hollywood actors, journalists, television personalities, professors and musical artists.
David Sloan Wilson, professor of biological sciences, was featured in the December 17 issue of The Columbus Dispatch (OH) regarding the social effects of holiday decorations. Wilson conducted a study last December in which he had volunteers rate outdoor decorations on homes in Binghamton to find out whether the amount of community spirit in a neighborhood correlated with how much holiday decorating was done. He found that those with a lot of community spirit, also called “social capital,” had a lot of decorations, regardless of how rich or poor the area was. “People are deeply, deeply social, and we have this feeling of sharing and wanting to be part of a community. Art and decorations are part of this social impulse,” Wilson said.
Binghamton University was featured in Business Wire (CA) on December 17 regarding an in-kind gift from two software providers. Infor, a global provider of business software, and Synergy Resources, an Infor partner and provider of software and services for manufacturing and distribution companies, contributed software and services to the University, valued at $165,000. The gift will enable faculty to integrate Infor ERP VISUAL into the curriculum for students in the Watson School and School of Management. “VISUAL allows Binghamton University students to gain valuable hands-on experience using leading software,” President Lois DeFleur said.
President Lois DeFleur was quoted in Newsday (NY), Inside Higher Ed, The Ithaca Journal and The Poughkeepsie Journal on December 18, as well as The Times Herald Record (NY) on December 20 regarding a higher education research fund. A 30-member state Commission on Higher Education urged more state spending on SUNY and CUNY, a $3 billion research program and free tuition to underprivileged students who meet the academic standards. The commission is awaiting the decision of Governor Eliot Spitzer and whether his upcoming state budget proposal would include the higher education panel’s recommendations. President DeFleur, a commission member, said it could take up to two years to get approval for a new program because SUNY and the state Education Department both have to approve. “It would be faster to have both processes run simultaneously,” she said.
Thomas Dublin, professor of history, was quoted in The Times Tribune (PA) on December 18 in reference to a proposed ethanol plant. Northeast Ethanol, who proposed plans to open an ethanol plant in Mayfield, PA, is facing skepticism and opposition from community members. Dublin, author of 2 books on Pennsylvania’s coal region, suggests that the coal industry’s decline left ambivalence in its wake. Coal brought pride and success to places like Mayfield. “On the other hand, there’s also a sense that we’ve been let down, and that we’ve been taken advantage of, and that a lot of people got rich, but we didn’t,” Dublin said.
William McCarthy, assistant director of the Career Development Center and M. Eileen Bauer-Hagerbaumer, employer relations manager, authored an article in the publication Bridges (WI) on December 18 regarding the University’s career fairs. The Career Development Center (CDC) sponsored fairs allow students to introduce themselves to prospective employers and familiarize themselves to the organization. McCarthy and Bauer-Hagerbaumer say the key to a successful career fair is to “make sure the students know about it, and more importantly, that they know how to succeed at networking and presenting themselves when they get there.” Working with individual schools in the University, building relationships with faculty and posting announcements on “B-line” allows the CDC to effectively promote upcoming events.
Findings of a new study by Mark Lenzenweger, distinguished professor of psychology, have been released in The Journal of Abnormal Psychology and were also featured in Mental Health Weekly Digest, Health & Medicine Week, Life Science Weekly, and many other publications, throughout December. The study was titled “Predicting individual change in personality disorder (PD) features by simultaneous individual change in personality dimensions linked to neurobehavioral systems: the longitudinal study of personality disorders.” The study states, “personality disorders, long thought to be immutable over time, show considerable evidence of individual change and malleability in modern prospective longitudinal studies. The factors responsible for the evident individual change in PDs over time, however, remain essentially unknown.”
Last Updated: 6/22/10