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
Andrew Morris, associate director of undergraduate admissions, was featured in a Q&A segment in The Greentree Gazette (Fl.) on March 1 regarding undergraduate admissions. Morris discussed how the office of undergraduate admissions at the University is using the Internet to offer real-time admissions decisions to satisfy “millennial students” and their helicopter parents. According to Morris, “The Binghamton Experience” is what draws students from all over the nation and the international community. Today’s Binghamton University students seek the same things: “a public Ivy-level undergraduate preparation that springboards them into the best medical, law and graduate schools or career starts,” said Morris.
Jessica Fridrich, professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been featured in The Tulsa World, The Courier Journal (Ky.) and The Columbia Daily Tribune (Mo.) on March 2, 9 and 12, respectively, regarding her research in identifying tampered photos. Fridrich realized that all cameras have tiny flaws, changes so small they cannot be seen with the naked eye. A program developed by Fridrich can detect these minute changes and spot a tampered photo. “We are trying to make it harder for people who want to do these things to go unnoticed, undetected,” said Fridrich.
Oana Malis, assistant professor of physics, applied physics and astronomy, was featured in EETimes on March 3 and 5 regarding laser innovation. Malis’ research at the University has allowed her to devise a strategy to bridge the laser gap with new materials and architecture that could enable applications not currently possible. “We are interested in creating lasers at wavelengths that are not currently available today, as well as employ new light emitting processes to make new types of devices,” said Malis. The National Science Foundation and Research Corp (Az.) helped to fund part of Malis’ research efforts.
Anne Clark, associate professor of biological sciences, was featured in an interview with The Times-Tribune (Pa.) on March 3 regarding crow migration. Clark commented on the large flocks of crows gathering in downtown Scranton, PA to roost. “It can seem a little whimsical to an observer,” Clark said. She suspects the crows gather in communal roosts for safety and to share information about food sources. According to Clark, “there are lots of eyes to watch for predators.”
Yvonne Johnston, clinical assistant professor and research associate in the Decker School of Nursing, was quoted in The Independent (UK) for explaining the itch and scratch response. Itching may seem basic, but that sensation is a complex interplay involving the skin, nervous system, endocrine system and immune system. “Scratching is a reflex response thought to relieve the itch by simultaneously stimulating pain nerves and interfering with the transmission of the ‘itch’ signal to the brain,” said Johnston.
Binghamton University’s Downtown Center was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education on March 4 in an article that highlights exemplary new buildings, renovation projects, and outdoor spaces completed on college campuses during 2007. The profile highlighted the building, which has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and includes a three-story atrium that opens to an exterior plaza and landscaped outdoor areas. Holt Architects designed the $29 million 74,400 square feet University Downtown Center located in downtown Binghamton.
According to a Council on Social Work Education newsletter on March 6, Binghamton University’s Masters of Social Work program will launch an initiative designed to prepare social workers to specialize in elderly care. Grants from the New York Academy of Medicine and the John A. Hartford Foundation will fund the new program, known as the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education. “We have been thrilled to have been awarded this grant and to be able to expand our efforts toward increasing competence in gerontological social work in the Southern Tier,” Social Work department chair Laura Bronstein said.
David Sloan Wilson, professor of biological sciences, has been invited to join “the Altenberg 16,” a “high-level group of biologists and philosophers” according to the online newsletter Scoop.co.nz (NZ). This group will explore ideas about what a new Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (ESS) might look like. The Konrad Lorenz Institute of Evolution and Cognition Research in Altenberg, Austria will host the event from July 10-13. Wilson will discuss multi-level selection as he will be joined by professors from NYU, Oxford, Yale and Harvard among others.
Kenneth Christianson, lecturer of economics, was quoted in The Ithaca Journal on March 18 where he discussed greenhouse gas emission taxes. According to the article, Christianson isn’t convinced that a carbon tax is preferable to cap and trade. “With cap and trade, there’s a lot more incentives for the markets and entrepreneurs in those markets to want to reduce emissions on their own because then you get credits that you can sell to other people. With a carbon tax it’s really relying much more on the heavy hand of government. Generally markets are much better at finding efficient solutions than governments are,” said Christianson.
Mary Muscari, associate professor in the Decker School of Nursing, was featured in the online news source TamilStar.com on March 18 regarding shaken baby syndrome (SBS). In the article, Muscari advised that “when your baby cries, remember that the baby is not misbehaving, as crying is a form of communication.” She suggests offering the baby a pacifier or toy, cuddling the baby, walking the baby and singing to the baby, among other tips, to prevent SBS.
David Sloan Wilson, professor of biological sciences, was featured in The Economist (UK) on March 19 regarding a new project, “Explaining Religion.” The collaborative effort is the largest-ever scientific study of the subject, involving scholars from 14 universities worldwide, that relies on science to explain religion. Wilson explains that morality and religion are often closely connected so what holds for the one might be expected to hold for the other, too. Upon studying the relationship between social insecurity and religious fervor Wilson discovered that, regardless of the religion in question, it is the least secure societies that tend to be most fundamentalist.
Kevin Wright, professor of human development, was featured in an interview with Northwestern University’s Medill Reports (DC) on March 20 regarding detention centers in Iraq. “There’s a large segment of the population who always think prisoners are undeserving, and wonder why we are giving them all these benefits that not everyone else has? But if you incarcerate with just concrete and steel, it’s much more expensive. If you give them hope and keep them busy, it’s much easier to manage them,” said Wright.
Thomas Dublin, professor of history, was mentioned in The Redding Pilot (Pa.) on March 27 regarding his contribution to The Georgetown History Project. The project is a 30-minute documentary film that highlights Georgetown’s history. Dublin was interviewed in the documentary to provide a broad perspective of how Georgetown fits into the national and international themes of history.
John McNulty, assistant professor of political science, was quoted in The Washington Times (DC) on March 27 regarding pre-fabricated political campaign TV spots for sale. Los Angeles-based marketing firm Spot Runner has created a collection of 22 ready-made spots that showcase general political messages; the candidate’s name, photo, logo and district are simply inserted as electronic graphics. “This really treats political advertising like a commodity. In the age of Costco and Amazon, there’s no reason not to buy a campaign right off the shelf. Voters may not know the difference,” said McNulty.
President Lois DeFleur has been featured The Christian Science Monitor and The Financial (Tbilisi, Georgia) on March 28 regarding financial turmoil on Wall Street and its subsequent impact on higher education. President DeFleur acknowledged how more students are coming in for financial aid because their parents’ financial situations have changed.
The official opening of the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing (CAMM) was featured in States News Service, NYSTAR News (Albany) and Reliable Plant magazine on March 31. The collaborative efforts of Binghamton University, Endicott Interconnect Technologies and Cornell University have allowed the facility to move forward in a roll-to-roll (R2R) format. According to President DeFleur, “The Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing offers an unparalleled research and development capability that will help businesses compete in the global marketplace and spur economic advancement in the Southern Tier, New York State and the nation.” Bahgat Sammakia, professor of mechanical engineering and director of economic development and the Integrated Electronics Engineering Center will lead the CAMM facility with his direction.
Last Updated: 6/22/10