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The Union Bookshelf

Posted on Jul 1, 1998

The Union
Bookshelf regularly features new books written by alumni
authors and other members of the Union community. If
you're an author and would like to be included in an
upcoming issue, please send a copy of the book as well as
your publisher's news release to Deborah Ludke, Public
Relations Office, Union College, Schenectady, N.Y.
12308-3169. (E-mail address: ludked@alice.union.edu.)

Martin Jay '65

Cultural Semantics:
Keywords of Our Time
is the
latest book in the Critical Perspectives on Modern
Culture Series by Martin Jay. A selection of writings on
contemporary thought and culture, the book examines ideas
we have, exploring the “keywords” of today. Jay
gives his perspective on why our ideas matter. The book
also looks at what effect the words we use have on our

Martin Jay lives in Berkeley, Calif.,
and is the Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of History at
the University of California, Berkeley. His previous
books include The Dialectical Imagination: A History of
the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research
1923-1950; Marxism and Totality: The Adventures of a
Concept from Lukas to Habermas; and Downcast Eyes: The
Denigration of Vision in Twentieth-Century French

Richard Anker

Richard Anker '65 is the author of Gender and Jobs, a comprehensive analysis of the levels and
recent changes in the sex segregation of occupations on a
worldwide scope.

The book says that one major cause of
the considerable inequality persisting in women's access
to good jobs is the gender segregation of the labor
market, which increases sex inequalities at the same time
that it puts women at a disadvantage. He uses data from
forty-one countries as evidence that more than half of
all non-agricultural workers work in an occupation where
one sex dominates to such an extent that at least eighty
percent of workers are either one sex or another.

Anker is on the Task Force on Country
Studies on Globalization at the International Labour
Office in Geneva, Switzerland. The 456-page book is
available through the International Labour Office or by
e-mailing to pubvente@ilo.org.

Rev. Stuart
Stiles, Jr. '57

Over the past year, Stuart Stiles '57
has collected sixty-three stereoscopic photographs of
Saratoga Springs, N.Y., covering the Victorian era
between 1860-1904. Since the Stiles family's roots are
deeply embedded in Saratoga Springs, he was able to use
anecdotes and family first-hand stories to accompany the
photos. He plans to market the book at various Victorian
events in Saratoga Springs, beginning with a book-signing
and stereoscopic event at the Adelphi Hotel, a
“step-back-in-time” hotel, and ending with the
Victorian Stroll in the winter. (For the uninitiated:
stereoscopic photos are viewed through a device that
creates a 3-D image; they were popular before the days of
television and movies.)

In addition to his writing and
collecting, Stiles is pastor of a church in Howells,
N.Y., as well as professor of psychology at Orange County
Community College. He says that the cover design for the
book was done by one of his students. “I've helped
three or four 'old-timers' get their books published and
thought it was about time I did it, too,” he says.

Rodham E.
Tulloss '66, Ph.D.

The latest book from Rodham Tulloss '66
is titled Protocols
for an All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory of Fungi in a
Costa Rican Conservation Area
Co-written with Amy Rossman, Thomas O'Dell, and R. Greg
Thorn, the book is a manual of instructions for
conducting a biodiversity inventory of fungi. In addition
to giving recommendations for isolating and sampling
groups of fungi, it includes lists of written material
useful for identification and outlines culture and
specimen collection proceedures.

Tulloss, of Roosevelt, N.J., is an
expert in systematics of the mushroom genus Amanita
including tropical species. He has developed methods of
analyzing similarities in data sets from inventories of
fungi using his background as a mathematician and
engineer. The book is available through Parkway
Publishers, Inc.

Murad Wilfried
(Bill) Hofmann '50

Born into a Catholic family in 1931 in
Aschaffenburg, Germany, Bill Hofmann attended Union in
1950 and completed his studies of German law at Munich
University in 1957. In 1980, he embraced Islam,
performing 'umrah in 1982 and hajj in 1992. His book, Islam, the Alternative, which first appeared in German in 1992, caused
a public scandal. Hofmann was called a
“fundamentalist” by leftist and feminist
circles in the German media and parliament. Now published
in English, the book is available through Amana
Publications, Beltsville, Md.

Hofmann lives in Istanbul with his
Turkish wife. He is the author of Islam 2000, which
describes where the Muslim world is at the threshold of
the twenty-first century. Voyage to Makkah, and Diary of
a German Muslim.

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A term abroad inspires a career

Posted on Jul 1, 1998

A love
of travel inspired by a term abroad in England has led to
a successful guidebook company for Nancy Judson '83.

In 1989, she quit her job as assistant
corporation counsel in New York City's law department to
start TripBuilder, a company that produces easy-to-use,
inexpensive travel guides for nine (soon to be twelve)
cities worldwide.

“I wasn't happy practicing law but
I knew that I liked to travel,” Judson says,
explaining that she loved her junior year term in Bath,
England. So when she was on a vacation in Paris, her
dissatisfaction with guidebooks prompted her to design
her own travel guide.

TripBuilder guides feature an
easy-to-use foldout map that has points of interest
divided into categories and color coded — museums,
historic landmarks, hidden treasures, sights for kids,
and more. “It is a really easy way of navigating a
city,” explains Judson.

The guides are available in bookstores
nationwide. Corporate buyers also include the guides in
their welcome packets for new employees and visitors, and
tour groups also are big customers.

To gain start-up money for her venture,
Judson sold advertising space. But she knew that earning
the advertising dollars of the large corporations she had
targeted, such as British Airways and Hertz, would be a

Her solution was a creative one. She
sent postcards from her vacations to the marketing
directors of all the companies she had targeted. On each
postcard she wrote that she was having a great time but
that a great guidebook would make it better — and she
knew that she could produce that great guide. She signed
the cards “Love, Nancy” to make sure they would
get past the marketing directors' secretaries.

Judson followed with gifts of building
blocks (to reflect the name TripBuilder). When she
finally called the marketing executives, they all agreed
to meet with her, perplexed by who “this Nancy”

“That's how I got my foot in the
door, but I was really prepared when I saw them,”
Judson says. “I really felt that I had a great

Several of the advertisers agreed to
buy space in her guides, and Judson published her first
guide about England and her next on London. (She quickly
decided to focus on producing travel guides for cities,
not entire countries; she also no longer sells ad space.)

TripBuilder has been wildly successful,
moving five years ago from a mail-order market to the
mass market. Judson attributes the company's success to
its product. “Our guides are just really easy to use
and they break down the city and make it more
manageable,” she explains.

Judson says the best part of running
the business is the opportunity to travel, but that she
also loves the flexibility gained by being her own boss.
“I love getting up every morning and coming to
work,” she says, “and it is really exciting to
see the way the series has expanded nationally.” An
extra bonus is the opportunity to spend more time with
her one-year-old daughter, Jamie.

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Turning a thesis into a business

Posted on Jul 1, 1998

David Katz '84 is the rare alumnus who not only thinks about
his thesis — he uses it every day.

Katz's thesis is the backbone of Matrix
Asset Advisors, the money management firm that he
co-founded in 1986. The company now runs $550 million in
assets for high-net individuals and institutions.

Katz, who says he always knew that he
was going to be in the investment business, wrote his
thesis to be an entree into the industry. It worked;
Management Asset Corp. “hired my thesis and took me
along, too,” he says.

His thesis, a computer program that
analyzed lucrative stocks, led him to focus on the
attractiveness of buying stock in solid, undervalued
companies. The trick was to determine which companies
were facing short-term problems only and which were
doomed to failure. After analyzing countless economic
models, Katz discovered what worked best and created his
own model.

After two years with Management Asset
Corp. and one and a half years at New York University
Graduate School of Business, Katz was ready to start his
own company. In 1986, he and a partner started Matrix
Asset Advisors, which has grown from $3 million in assets
that first year.

Matrix's analyses are based on the
computer program that Katz developed for his thesis.
Modified to reflect Matrix's current needs, the program
narrows the universe of about 8,000 companies that Matrix
considers to about 100 or 200 securities that meet their
criteria. The company then conducts qualitative research
to determine which companies are the best buys.

“The question always is how can
you buy a company at one-third of its worth,” Katz
says. He explains that Matrix often buys stock in
companies with perceived short-term problems, relying on
the fact that the stock market's reaction to short-term
problems can produce dramatic price swings unrelated to
the long-term prosperity of a company. “If you look
beyond the short-term problems, you often find that these
are good, solid companies.”

A typical Matrix portfolio will include
thirty to thirty-five stocks spread over twenty to
twenty-five different industries, and stocks are sold
when they reach Matrix's estimated fair value or if the
company's balance sheet violates their criteria. Matrix
also recently took on the management of a mutual fund,
which is primarily geared to the needs of smaller
investors. The company manages the $10 million fund just
as it does its other portfolios.

Is there some key to developing a
thesis that can be transformed into a successful

Katz says that it was a combination of
identifying a thesis topic that, if successful, would
have real world applications, being at the right place at
the right time, and getting lucky. He also credits his
professors, with special thanks to Brad Lewis of the
Economics Department, for invaluable assistance over the

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History’s Thread

Posted on Jul 1, 1998

events come together in ways that remind us vividly of
the threads that connect us. The thread, in this case, is
the mission of the College- “cultivating the
mind of youth,” to use the phrase of John Blair
Smith, Union's first president-and this spring
three events reminded me of that thread. One was a party
celebrating the 225th birthday of Eliphalet Nott, the
College's president from 1804 to 1866 and, to my
mind, the best college president this country has
produced. The second was the 150th anniversary of the
graduation of Chester Arthur, who went on to become the
twenty-first president of the United States. And the
third was our Baccalaureate Commemoration, when I
listened to several wonderful student speeches. Each
event reminded me of John Blair Smith's memorable
phrase. Nott was a leader whose ideas about
“cultivating the mind of youth” influenced
Union-and all of higher education-for decades.
Chester Arthur was apolitical operative who, when
elevated to the presidency following James
Garfield's death, shed politics for leadership (I
like to believe that his exposure to Nott's
progressive curriculum must have had something to do with
his later growth). And our student speakers? To give you
a idea of their promise, let me share some of their

I would venture that every Union
College student, at one time or another, has pulled an
all-nighter…. Amidst your rising terror, you find a
slice of respite. Over on the corner of your desk is
probably a dust-laden candle that your Aunt Matilda sent
you last May for your birthday, and gosh darn it!
Doesn't this seem the perfect time to strike a match
and set it aflame?…And on that candle flickers. It
almost serves as your stalwart beacon of hope that amidst
the turmoil of your “tragic”life, there is
something steady and unbending, a flame that continues to
burn with constant serenity, even as you're waking
your roommate in horror that your printer is spitting out
symbols you never entered into your PC…We're
all taking that “all-nighter” path this day.
Whether through pursuit of a graduate degree, the
explosive excitement of a new career, or continuing to
peruse our options, we are all pursuing our
passions….This commitment to ourselves cannot wait
'til morning. We'll keep that candle burning
within ourselves and light that flame as an unbending
force to orient us when our “all-nighter” seems

Jennifer Angerosa

I was only four years old and was
moping around the back yard feeling lonely and looking
for something to do. I remember looking around and
watching the birds, and then an idea popped into my head.
Why hadn't I thought of this before? What could be
more fun than flying?…I just climbed the steps to my
porch, and climbed up on the railing…I surveyed the
area and decided that this would be a great place to take
off…With a deep breath and my wings spread, I leaped
high into the air and waited for the wind to take me. I
guess it's pretty unnecessary to tell you what
happened next. I landed, and it wasn't gracefully
like the birds did. I crashed headfirst into my
mother's rock garden…After the trip to the
emergency room to have the two holes in my head repaired,
my mom put me on the couch and sat with me. I remember
her having only one question. She asked,”Le-le. What
made you think that little girls could fly?” And in
my most determined voice I said, “Because they
can.”…This was probably one of the most
important steps in my life. It taught me that you can
live through crash landings, that they are not the end of
the world…I'm not suggesting porch jumping to
anyone in the audience today, but I am a strong supporter
of taking that leap.

Leah Karp

Union is a family. We are all proud to
be here, and we are happy with the choice we made in
coming to Union. We strive to make Union a better place,
we support one another while we are here, and we support
the endeavors of the alumni. We congratulate each other
for our successes, and we console one another when we
have failed. We have grown together here. We have been
there for one another through adversity. We have learned
what having friends truly means, and we realize now that
one good friend is more important to us than
1000acquaintances…I know that in years to come, when
I think back on my days at Union, I am going to wish that
I could have just one more Friday afternoon, after
classes have finished, walking across the rugby field to
see the pink and orange sun setting over Fox Hall. I know
that this can't be, though, so I will go out into
that crazy world and find a new spot from which I can
watch the sun set, and I pray that that spot will make me
as happy as Union has during the past four years.

James DiStefano

You do not have to be a writer to be
able to relate and find value in Jack Kerouac's
Belief and Technique For Modern Prose; List of
Essentials. I've picked five essentials to speak
about today. Essential number one: “Scribbled secret
notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own
joy” (58)…We were constantly surrounded by each
other. It is such a lifestyle that has made many of us
realize the irreplaceable excitement of a continual
presence of friends who, oftentimes, felt a lot like
family. It is also this lifestyle which has made many of
us understand the fundamental importance of privacy, for
it is the time spent alone which allows us to see the
significance and beauty of time spent with others.
Essential number two: “Submissive to everything,
open, listening” (59)… Perhaps knowledge comes
only with the admittance that nothing is ever truly
known, a willingness to strip oneself of youthful
arrogance, while keeping intact a youthful innocence and
an amazement for the people places, and ideas which
surround us. Essential number five: “Something that
you feel will find its own form”(59)…We all
have parts of our minds which breathe with a life unto
themselves. Let us never be afraid to explore these
unknown territories, for we may and that they are not so
unknown after all. Essential number twenty-three:
“Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr
morning” (59)…Instead of living quickly,
completing tasks just to complete them, let us not be
afraid to take our time, to examine what it is we truly
want, to be aware and “keep track” of every
morning. Essential number twenty-four: “No fear or
shame in the dignity of yr experience, language and
knowledge” (59)…We can feel comfort in the
similarity of the experience we have all shared. More
importantly, though, we should feel pride because, as
similar as our experiences have been, they have all been
unique and unmatched. Let us look upon ourselves and each
other with admiration, and upon our parents and teachers
who have so devotedly helped us to get here, with
admiration and gratitude. But today is not the only day
we are deserving of congratulations. Kerouac's
essential number twenty-nine says, “You're a
Genius all the time” (59). Don't forget that.

Julianna Spallholz

I think John Blair Smith and Eliphalet
Nott and Chester Arthur would have been proud. I know I

Roger H. Hull

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Commencement ’98

Posted on Jul 1, 1998

Commencements are
about people, and we offer glimpses of the people who
contributed to Union's Commencement 1998:

When Rachel Graham '98 said she was
going to miss the kids after graduation, she meant the
seventy-five children who were part of an after school
mentoring program that she began.

The program, known as COCOA House (for
Children of Our Community Open to Achievement), is held
at Grace Temple Church of God in Christ in Schenectady's
Hamilton Hill neighborhood. The children plant shrubs, go
on field trips and scavenger hunts, and read — a lot.
“I loved to help the kids learn to read,”
Graham says.

Graham, a geology major and arts minor,
received an achievement award from the Schenectady County
Human Rights Commission for her work. Her program will be
carried on next year by five Union students.

Graham's father, the Rev. Marvin L.
Graham, is pastor of the church and delivered the
invocation and benediction at Commencement.

–Honorary degrees were presented to
Victor H. Fazio '65, retiring U.S. Congressman from
California; Diane Ravitch, senior fellow at the Brookings
Institution and senior research fellow at New York
University; and Allen L. Sessoms '68, president of
Queen's College (New York).

Fazio, who received an honorary doctor
of laws degree, is Democratic Caucus Chairman, the
third-ranking Democratic leadership post in the House.
His citation read:

“When you announced that you would
not seek reelection to an eleventh term this year, a
colleague said you are what every Congressman ought to be
— respectful of other views but passionate about your
own beliefs.

“We offer two examples. Although a
leader of the Democratic Party, you have often approached
issues in a bipartisan manner, to the point where one
newspaper noted that Republicans — although they might
not admit it — often seek your guidance on issues. A
firm supporter of women's rights, you actively recruited
women to run for office in recently-redistricted areas,
an effort that won you a “Good Guy” award from
the National Organization for Women.

“This combination of respect and
passion brought you to a well-earned leadership position
in the House of Representatives. A writer once described
the American character as the tendency to work with nuts
and bolts while seeking the stars; that definition finds
eloquent expression in your career.”

Ravitch, a nationally-known expert on
educational standards and policies, received an honorary
doctor of letters degree:

“In a specch you gave at Union,
you said that the modern torments of hell are ethnic
hatred, cultural narcissism, and the straightjacket of
group think. The best protections against them are the
spirits of tolerance, universalism, and shared humanity.
And the best tools to pursue those ends are well educated
and open minds.

“This common-sense prescription
for society remains difficult to follow. Perhaps one
reason is the all-too-common tendency to add clutter to
our educational system. You have vigorously criticized
such tendencies. Asked to comment on proposed high school
social science standards, for example, you used the words
'vague,' 'insubstantial,' ill-defined,' and 'unspecific.'

“In a society confused about what
to do with education, you offer a clear, consistent, and
compelling direction.”

Sessoms, who graduated with honors in
physics before earning advanced degrees at the University
of Washington and Yale, received an honorary doctor of
science degree.

“You once said that without
education, there is no democracy, and it is fitting that
your career has embraced both college teaching and public
service. Your mother, a practical nurse in the Bronx,
sparked your interest in science by conducting at-home
experiments; your farher owned a bodega where you and
your brothers and sisters worked part-time and studied.

“That early encouragement led you
to Union, to universities for advanced degrees, and to
Harvard to teach. You have also led negotiations about
nuclear non-proliferation and arms control and been a
counselor for scientific and technological affairs at
U.S. embassies.

“Now the leader of an urban
university, you continue to provide an admirable example
of the connection between education and the public

–In his remarks, Congressman Vic Fazio
'65 told graduates that “the true measure of a
person, and of a nation, is found in something more
profound that economic well-being.”

Citing a 1968 campaign speech by Bobby
Kennedy, Fazio said the gross national product “can
tell us everything about America except why we are proud
to be Americans.

“The final exams you took will not
test you as much as some of the challenges you will face
in your life,” he said. “Most of those
challenges, as Bobby Kennedy pointed out, have little to
do with your economic well-being.”

Those honored at Commencement included
Nikki Stone '97, who won an Olympic gold medal in
freestyle aerial skiing last winter. She received the
Eliphalet Nott Medal, awarded to alumni who through
perseverence have achieved great distinction.

A psychology major who graduated magna
cum laude, Stone said she used her training in psychology
to help her visualize the spectacular flips and jumps
that won her the medal at Nagano, Japan.

The award was particularly fitting
since Stone is Nott's
great-great-great-great-granddaughter (her mother's
maiden name was Nott).

Raymond DeMatteo '41, a Schenectady
attorney and former city councilman, has always looked
forward to seeing his granddaughter, Maria McLean,
received her bachelor's degree.

Thanks to Maria, DeMatteo also received
his degree.

After learning about a program that
awards degrees to alumni whose study was cut short, she
brought his name to the attention of College officials.
Her grandfather left Union after his third year when the
nation entered World War II. After the war, restrictions
in the G.I. Bill prevented him from completing his work
at Union but did provide funding for him to continue his
studies at Albany Law School, where he received his law

DeMatteo said that joining his
granddaughter at Commencement was a “truly
wonderful” day in his life.

Also receiving their Union degrees were
Howard Seld '35, a retired attorney from Lake Worth,
Fla.; George Clark '42, a physician in Chazy, N.Y.; and
Howard Beardmore '48, a periodontist in Coral Gables,

About forty alumni have received
bachelor's degrees in the eight years of the program.
Eligible are those who completed at least three years of
study at Union, did not receive a bachelor's degree from
another institution, received an advanced degree, and
attained distinction in their field.

Trevor Koenig, who set all kinds of
records as an All-American goalie on the men's hockey
team, graduated with one eye on professional hockey and
the other on teaching.

With National Hockey League teams in
Carolina and Calgary showing an interest, he was
naturally excited about a possible career in professional

Just in case, though, the cum laude
graduate also applied (and was accepted) into the
College's educational studies program, which prepares
individuals for careers in teaching.

“I've always believed that a
strong education makes for a well-balanced athlete,”
he says. Koenig's graduation numbers included a 3.34
grade point average in math and English and a .931 save
percentage in 1996-97, the best in the country.

The valedictorian of this year's class,
Anguel Zapryanov, is an economics major who came to the
U.S. in 1993 from Bulgaria. Now a financial analyst for
Stern Stewart Co., a New York corporate advisory firm, he
says he is considering teaching economics at the college

The salutatorian was Laurie Kirschner,
a psychology major from Suffern, N.Y. She will attend the
Harvard University Graduate School of Education to work
on a master's degree in human development and psychology.
She also says she is considering teaching at the college
level, with a speciality in female adolescent psychology.

All told, the College awarded 605
degrees — 109 graduate degrees, 232 bachelors of arts,
206 bachelors of science, twenty-nine bachelors of
science in civil engineering, three bachelors of science
in computer systems engineering, twelve bachelors of
science in electrical engineering, and fourteen bachelors
of science in mechanical engineering.

As usual, the Commencement ceremony was
held outdoors to accommodate the 6,000 guests, 600
graduates, and 160 or so faculty who normally attend. For
the first time in years, however, the ceremony was
accompanied by rain.

In a letter to graduates and families,
Dean of the Faculty Linda Cool noted that the only
possible indoor sites on campus, Achilles Rink and
Memorial Field House, could hold no more than 2,000
guests, and there are no bigger covered facilities
anywhere in Schenectady County.

However, realizing that bad weather can
strike again, she and other members of the Commencement
Committee met within days to discuss possible options for
the future. The initial discussion centered on a
combination of tents and providing live coverage to other
locations on campus, such as Memorial Chapel.

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