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Philosopher Jürgen Habermas to speak at Union College on Thursday, Oct. 16

Posted on Sep 26, 1997

Schenectady, N.Y. (Sept. 26, 1997) – Jürgen Habermas, one of the greatest social thinkers of the century, will give a speech titled “Learning from Catastrophes? — A Brief Look Back at the Short Twentieth Century” on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Union College's Nott Memorial.

Habermas, a well-known German philosopher and leading representative of the Frankfurt school of critical theory, has refashioned thinking about technology and culture, politics and postmodernism, law and democracy. His scholarly work, which includes critical analysis of contemporary society, ranges across many of the humanities and social sciences. The author of numerous books and articles, he is perhaps best known for his books Knowledge and Human Interests, Postmetaphysical Thinking, and Between Facts and Norms.

In his talk at Union, Habermas will examine the peculiar face of the twentieth century (between 1914 and 1989) characterized by the Cold War, Decolonization, and the reduction of class conflict against the background of changing trends in demographic growth, in technology, and in patterns of production. Committed to illuminating living controversies, Habermas will consider the challenges now posed to the fragile welfare-state compromise by the stresses and dislocations of economic globalization. Finally, he will ask the question, is there any viable alternative to the neoconservative response?

Habermas will be a guest at Union for one week, leading discussions and seminars for Union faculty and students.

The lecture on Thursday evening is free and open to the public. The sixteen-sided Nott Memorial is located at the center of campus and parking is available on campus and on nearby sidestreets.

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New Faculty Welcomed

Posted on Sep 26, 1997

The faculty welcomes 16 new colleagues. They are:

Grant E. Brown, assistant professor of biology, earned his Ph.D.
from Memorial University of Newfoundland and his bachelor's degree from Lethbridge
University. He has co-authored many articles that have appeared in publications such as
the Canadian Journal of Zoology. His interests include the behavioral ecology of

Luzmila Camacho, visiting instructor of Spanish, earned her Ph.D.
from the University at Albany and her master's degree from the University at Malaga,

Sara Chazen, visiting assistant professor of theater, received
her master's degree from Carnegie Mellon University and her bachelor's degree
from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She has participated in many
productions both as an actress and as a director.

Chandan DeSarkar, visiting professor of management, earned a
doctorate from Southern Illinois University and a master's degree from the Indian
Institute of Management in India. He earned a bachelor's degree from the Indian
Institute of Technology-Kharagpur in India and has co-authored several publications.
Interests include marketing and information analysis.

Gail Donaldson, visiting instructor of psychology, received her
Ph.D. from York University and her master's degree from the New School for Social
Research. Donaldson earned her bachelor's degree from Edinburgh University. She has
authored several works that have appeared in such publications as the Journal of the
History of the Behavioral Sciences
. Her interests include child analysis.

Jason Dunn, visiting professor of physics, earned his Ph.D. as
well as his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis. He has
co-authored many presentations and publications. His interests include hardware
preparation as well as cooperative learning techniques.

Jianping Feng, visiting instructor of Chinese, earned her
master's degree as well as a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University. She
has received numerous honors for instruction at Harvard University.

Michael Hagerman, assistant professor of chemistry, received his
Ph.D. and master's degree from Northwestern University. He earned his bachelor's
degree from North Central College. He has co-authored articles that have appeared in such
publications as the Chemistry of Materials. Hagerman's interests include
chemical analysis as well as the history of science.

Christine M. LaPlante, assistant professor of civil engineering,
earned her Ph.D., master's and bachelor's degrees at Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute. He research interests include environmental studies.

Lori Jo Marso, assistant professor of political science, received
her Ph.D. from New York University. She earned her master's degree from the London
School of Economics and her bachelor's degree from the University of South Dakota.
She has authored articles that have appeared in such publications as The Journal of
Political Philosophy
. Her interests include gender studies and works by Rousseau.

Michael Meckler, visiting assistant professor of classics, earned
a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He earned his master's degree from the
University of Chicago and his bachelor's degree from Princeton University. He has
authored several papers that have appeared in publications such as The Demography of
Roman Egypt
. His interests include Roman history and archaeology.

Beth Morling, visiting assistant professor of psychology,
received her Ph.D. and a master's degree from the University of Massachusetts at
Amherst. She earned her bachelor's degree from Carleton College. She has co-authored
numerous works that have appeared in such publications as the Encyclopedia of Human
Her interests include environmental reality as well as cultural influence.

Edward Pavlic, instructor of English, earned his master's
degree and bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has
authored several articles that have appeared in such publication as the African
American Review
. His interests include African-American studies as well as African

Barbara Pytel, visiting professor of biology, received her Ph.D.
and master's degree from New York University. She received her bachelor's degree
from St. John's University and has co-authored many publications. Her interests
include frogs as well as neuropathologic observations.

Bernardo Torres, visiting instructor of Spanish, earned his
doctoral degree from the State University of New York at Albany. He received his
master's degree and bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at
Binghamton. Torres is the founder and editor of De la letra, a literary magazine
published by graduate students at SUNY Albany.

F. Andrew Wolfe, assistant professor of civil engineering,
received his Ph.D., master's and bachelor's degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute. He has co-authored articles which have appeared in publications such as the ASCE
Transportation Engineering Journal.
His interests include environmental studies.

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Across Campus; News Briefs

Posted on Sep 26, 1997

o The Office of Public Relations
has added new offerings to the College's Web page. In addition to current and past
issues of The Chronicle and athletic scores and schedules, the “Union
Today” section now features selections from Union College, the College
magazine, announcements about upcoming special events, and press releases. The direct
address: http://www.union.edu/UTODAY/index.html

o On Oct. 1, an
business version” of the faculty and staff directory will be
posted on the College's website. The alphabetical listing, which will include a
search form, will list employee name, title, department, work location, work phone, and
(if desired) e-mail/personal website.

o Complimentary tickets for
home hockey games will be available to students (one ticket per College ID) and
faculty and staff (two tickets per ID) in the Achilles Rink box office each Monday of the
week prior to the games. After Monday, tickets are $5 for students, $6 for faculty and
staff. The home opener is Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. against Vermont.

o Campus Operations is accepting
sealed bids on five used vehicles. They may be viewed in the Nott-Seward Lot inside the
Nott Street fence. For information, call ext. 6049. Bids are due Oct. 6 at 3 p.m., and
will be opened at 4 p.m. The College reserves the right to reject any and all bids

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Ad Hoc Tenure Committees Formed

Posted on Sep 26, 1997

Ad hoc tenure committees have been formed to review the tenurability of eight professors: Ann Anderson, mechanical engineering; Mary K. Carroll, chemistry; Barbara Danowski, biology; Hugh Jenkins, English; Brenda Johnson, mathematics; James McWhirter, physics; Anthony Rubonis, psychology; and Scott Scullion, classics.

Members of the Union community are invited to submit written comments on
their teaching, service or scholarship to the appropriate committee chairs.

For Prof. Anderson, comments may be sent to Sharon Gmelch,
anthropology, chair (ext. 6715, gmelchs@gar.union.edu). Others are Kurt Hollocher,
geology; John Spinelli, electrical engineering; and Richard Wilk, mechanical engineering.

For Prof. Carroll, to Ruth Stevenson, English, chair (ext. 6206,
stevensr@gar.union.edu). Others are John Boyer, biology; Frank Milillo, mechanical
engineering; and Charles Scaife, chemistry.

For Prof. Danowski, to Kenneth DeBono, psychology, committee
chair (ext. 6542, debonok@gar.union.edu). Others are Barbara Boyer, biology; Sigrid
Kellenter, modern languages; and David Hemmendinger, electrical engineering/computer

For Prof. Jenkins, to Alan Taylor, mathematics, committee chair
(ext. 6197, taylora@gar.union.edu). Others are Peter Heinegg, English; Victoria Martinez,
modern languages; and Alan Bowman, Graduate Management Institute.

For Prof. Johnson, to J. Richard Shanebrook, mechanical
engineering, committee chair (ext. 6266, shanebrr@gar.union.edu). Other members are Julius
B. Barbanel, mathematics; Daniel J. Burns, psychology; and Bonney MacDonald, English.

For Prof. McWhirter, to Peter Tobiessen, biology, committee chair
(ext. 6028, tobiessp@gar.union.edu). Others are Kenneth Schick, physics; Ekram Hassib,
electrical engineering/computer science; and Jan Ludwig, philosophy.

For Prof. Rubonis, to Donald Arnold, GMI, committee chair (ext.
6302). Others are Seyfollah Maleki, physics; Mario Rivera, mechanical engineering; and
Suzanne Benack, psychology.

For Prof. Scullion, to James Underwood, political science,
committee chair (ext. 6225, underwoj@gar.union.edu). Other members are Mark Toher,
classics; William Garcia, modern languages; and John Garver, geology.

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‘From the Home Office in Schenectady’ Union Students Visit Letterman

Posted on Sep 26, 1997

Jay Goldberg '98 isn't sure whether David Letterman ever saw his sign: “Make Schenectady the Home Office.”

But he gave it his best shot from the third row of the Ed Sullivan
Theater on Monday when he asked a page to bring the sign to the host just seconds before
the taping began.

Ultimately, it was George Clooney and Bill Cosby who got on the national
airwaves, not Goldberg or the other 89 members of the Union contingent who were bused down
by producers of Late Night with David Letterman. But the Union students had fun
trying to get on-air. Dozens of students sported “Top Ten Lists” and signs. Jon
Zandman '99 brought a bagful of garnet “U's” and liberally distributed
them to members of the crew, who dutifully pasted them to their shirts.

Late Night, a favorite on American campuses, invited Union
students as part of a promotion to bring to the studio students from a dozen regional
colleges and universities over the next 12 weeks, according to Rohit Sang, a producer who
said he decided to invite Union because he recalled it from his college search as having
an exceptional seven-year medical program.

The students traveled by bus and were treated to a reception, all
compliments of the Late Show, and got back to Union in time to see the broadcast at
11:35 p.m.

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