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In the News

February 2008

Patrick Dikirr, postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Global Cultural Studies and the Schweitzer Chair, was a guest on the Roy Green Show, CKNW (Canada) on February 3. Dikirr discussed the topic of ongoing conflict in Kenya. His research interests include environmental ethics and policy, social and political philosophy, cross-cultural healthcare ethics and international justice.

Jonathan Krasno, director of undergraduate Political Science, was quoted in The Huffington Post on February 3 regarding the democratic primary in New Jersey. “Polls in New Jersey show a tightening race; the latest has a six point lead for Hillary,” said Krasno. “Obama stands an outside chance of winning, but I suspect he’d be pretty happy to lose by five [percentage points].” According to Krasno, this is due to Hillary’s “huge lead for the whole season.”

David Sloan Wilson, professor of biological sciences, was featured in a Q&A segment in The New York Times on February 3 regarding gossip among workplace colleagues. According to Wilson, “it can give you a leg up because it tends to be surprisingly accurate…A company newsletter will never replace gossip, because you get much more and better information from gossip.”

According to the Legislative Gazette on February 3 and The Daily Gazette on February 10, The New York State Museum will feature a debate in which David Sloan Wilson, professor of biological sciences, will discuss Darwinism. To celebrate the birthday of Charles Darwin, a series of Darwinism exhibits and discussions will be featured at the Museum. “Point-Counterpoint” will be in the format of a “standard TV-debate style” in which Wilson will be featured. Wilson was also mentioned in The Ithaca Times on February 6 regarding Darwin Day held at Cornell University and the Museum of the Earth.

A new study, “The Genetic Structure of Pacific Islanders,” released in the January issue of the journal PLoS Genetics features researchers from Binghamton University. The University researchers, along with researchers from seven higher education institutions around the world such as Yale and Victoria University (New Zealand), have revealed that Polynesians and Micronesians have almost no genetic relation to Melanesians, and that groups that live in the islands of Melanesia are remarkably diverse. The findings were based on a comprehensive study of almost 1,000 individuals from the Melanesian islands. The study was also released in 13 other scientific journals and publications.

Ali Mazrui, director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, was featured in The Voice of America (NY) on February 4 regarding a symposium at the National Archives in Washington. The event commemorated the bicentennial of a law that banned future U.S. participation in the international slave trade. Mazrui likened the trafficking in humans and chattel to modern-day terrorism, and the Slave Trade Act as the first assault in a long war on that terror. “Just as terrorists in our military sense today devalue human life, in those days of enslavement, you might devalue that person and throw [him or her] overboard and then claim insurance,” said Mazrui.

Binghamton University’s Center for Advanced Microelectronic Manufacturing (CAMM) was featured in Small Times Magazine in February regarding flexible, printed, and organic electronics (FPOE). Motorola’s printed electronics division cites the lack of high-end, printed-electronics specific, roll-to-roll process equipment infrastructure essential in the development of FPOE materials. The Center’s roll-to-roll pilot line is coming into fruition, and is in communication with Motorola for the purpose of creating a partnership between the two divisions regarding FPOE infrastructure.

Ingeborg Majer O’Sickey, faculty director of the women’s studies program and associate professor of German, Russian, and East Asian languages, was featured in The Buffalo News and The Observer on February 6 and 15, respectively, regarding controversial German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. O’Sickey, referred to as a “Riefenstahl expert,” is to speak at a “keynote lecture on Riefenstahl aesthetics” at the College of Arts and Humanities Spring Symposium at Fredonia State College. A screening of Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will” will also be presented.

John McNulty, assistant professor of political science, was a featured guest of Lou Michaels, host of The Daily Bear Show on WBNW (MA) on February 6. The business talk radio station’s topic of discussion was “Super Tuesday” and also “why a candidate should or should not count on the youth vote.”

Mary Muscari, associate professor in the Decker School of Nursing, was featured in the online magazine First Science on February 6 and the journal Medical News Today on February 9regarding raising adolescent boys and girls. In Muscari’s latest books, “Everything Guide to Raising Adolescent Girls” and “Everything Guide to Raising Adolescent Boys,” she notes that although old-fashioned parenting values do not change so much, new trends in society can create added challenges. Muscari also suggests that when frequent communication between parents and children exist, kids are less inclined to hide their problems. “All the toys in the world will never make up for parental time. When the job takes priority, kids see that. And that’s a really bad place to be as a kid,” said Muscari.

Binghamton University’s Center for Advanced Microelectronic Manufacturing was mentioned in the electronic journals Printed Electronics World (UK) and PCB007 (OR) on February 12 regarding the United States Display Consortium (USDC) Flexible Electronics and Displays Conference. The seventh annual USDC conference focused on roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing. According to the article, much of the work that was described on roll-to-roll processing was done at the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing at Binghamton University, whose director [Bahgat Sammakia] was co-chair of the academic track of the conference.

Lynn Gamwell, director of the art museum, is scheduled to speak on the topic of “Spiritual Art in the Age of Science” at the University of Texas at Dallas according to The Pegasus News (Tx.) and The New York Times on February 12 and 15 respectively. Gamwell’s book, Exploring the Invisible, was hailed by scholar George Steiner as “a major contribution” to science and art. Science magazine stated that her book demonstrates that science, culture and art “move and change together.” Her lecture will explore the creative influences art and science have on each other. The lecture “will give an illustrated tour of spiritual themes in early abstract art that emerged to express a scientific world view,” Gamwell said.

Binghamton University was mentioned in Printed Electronics World (UK) on February 13 regarding flexible displays. The University’s active involvement in the research of barrier (oxygen and moisture) materials primarily for Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) was referenced. Representatives of the University presented this material at the IDTechEx Flexible Displays conference.

Michael Frame, director of federal relations, was featured in an interview on WENY, NY on February 13 regarding an effort to retain upstate New York’s young professionals in the region. Frame, along with regional leaders, got together at the Corning Museum of Glass to discuss the “Pipeline 4 Progress” initiative, a think tank and public forum dedicated to creating, attracting and retaining talented individuals to the Southern Tier of Upstate New York. He suggested that the best way to keep young talent in the area is to create appealing communities. “You could work anywhere in the United States, it’s where you want to live,” said Frame.

Susan Strehle, professor of English, was featured in an interview with MSNBC on February 14 regarding traditional ideas of love and romance. Strehle, co-editor of “Double Plots: Romance and History,” suggests that during the early Middle Ages the most passionate expressions of love were for the divine. “Valentine’s Day is big business with flowers, candy, cards and getaway weekends. Those are all drawing on that same historical, deep impulse in human life to find the beloved and make that person the center of a person’s life” the way early Medieval church-goers wanted God to be the center of theirs.

Jonathan Krasno, director of undergraduate political science, was a contributor on on February 15 in which he discussed the 2008 presidential election. Krasno believes that John McCain will be the “all-but-certain” Republican nominee but questions which Democrat is likeliest to beat him. “The case for Obama as the strongest candidate comes from simple electoral math…[but] once the campaign begins, the argument goes, Clinton is better prepared.”

According to the Associated Press and WCAX (Vt.) on February 17, Angelo Mastrangelo, adjunct lecturer, along with students in the School of Management worked with Binghamton city officials to establish a city-wide Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) network. Mastrangelo devised a business plan with the help of some graduate students that enables the city to run the Wi-Fi service using advertising revenue. The city is selling advertising space on a Web page where users log in. The wireless network will be available to the public as early as the first week in March.

Binghamton University was mentioned in The Chronicle of Higher Education on February 17 regarding the institution’s efforts to reduce its energy consumption. A six-week contest will monitor each dormitory community and their electricity consumption levels. Students are encouraged to reduce electricity consumption to win the contest. The winning community will be awarded $20,000.

Mary Muscari, associate professor in the Decker School of Nursing, was a guest on the America in the Morning radio show, WMAC (Ga.) on February 19. Muscari discussed school violence and the associated warning signs.

Oana Malis, assistant professor of physics, applied physics and astronomy, was featured in, PhysOrg,, Science Centric, and Medical News Today among many other news sources in the month of February regarding laser and sensor technology research. Funded by a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation as well as a Cottrell College Science Award of $44,244 from the Research Corporation, Malis is researching new materials that would allow laser light to be generated in ranges that are not currently accessible. “These lasers could be used for sensing such as in detecting environmental conditions in a building…there are defense applications as well,” said Malis. In regards to student involvement in the research efforts, Malis “…feel[s] it’s important to involve students in applied research.” Malis has also received additional funding through the University’s Integrated Electronics Engineering Program.

David Sloan Wilson, professor of biological sciences, was a speaker at a panel discussion on morality according to The Economist on February 21. At an American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, a group of biologists questioned “whether morality is more than just the refined application of the emotions.” According to the article, these biologists believe that human brains have a separate morality module. Wilson believes that “the actual moral sense an individual acquires is not arbitrary…but is functionally adapted to circumstances.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education featured Michael Sharp, assistant professor of English, general literature and rhetoric, on February 22 regarding his online alter-ego Rex Parker. Sharp and his blog “Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle” have seen a large number of responses to his daily blogs. Approximately 6,000 people visit his site each day and leave about 1,600 comments a month. Readers receive insight and clues on the daily New York Times crossword puzzle. The article also features interviews with Will Shortz, crossword-puzzle editor for The New York Times, and William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard. Shortz confesses that he checks the site twice a day and Kristol has said he is also a regular reader. “A puzzle is the most ephemeral thing out there. You do it, and it’s done – like eating candy. What the blog does is it doesn’t throw it away; it’s giving its due,” Sharp said.

Jessica Fridrich, professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been featured in over 75 publications and news outlets, such as Forbes, BusinessWeek and Time, during the month of February regarding her research in image tampering. Fridrich has developed software in which a set of photographs taken by the same camera could be analyzed and detect that a certain, defective pixel is always dark. A change in this defective pixel would suggest an alteration. “There will always be countermeasures that cannot be prevented. We are trying to make it harder for people who want to do these things to go unnoticed, undetected,” said Fridrich.

In a letter to the editor of The New York Times, Stephen Lisman, professor of psychology and director of clinical training, gives his thoughts on administering psychotherapy. In response to a recent Times article which suggests that psychiatrists who have been in treatment will make better therapists, Lisman claims that “there is virtually no evidence to support the belief that personal therapy produces a more empathic or a more effective therapist.” Lisman suggests that “perhaps better training methods and supervision would suffice.”

Binghamton University’s School of Management has been listed among 50 of “the best undergraduate business schools” in the nation ranked by BusinessWeek according to The Sun Herald (Ms.) on February 29. In establishing rankings, BusinessWeek uses nine distinct measures, including surveys of business majors and corporate recruiters, the median starting salaries for graduates and the number of graduates each program sends on to the preeminent MBA program. The complete ranking of the “Best Undergraduate Business Schools” is available in the March 10 issue of BusinessWeek. The University’s School of Management placed in the 40th ranking, falling two spots behind Penn State and ahead of Boston University and University of Florida.

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Last Updated: 6/22/10