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Union College receives $25,000 from General Electric

Posted on May 31, 2001

Schenectady, N.Y.
(May 31, 2001) – Union College will host “Effective Strategies for Change: A
Workshop on Implementing Curricular Change in Engineering Education,” on
October 19 and 20, thanks to $25,000 given to the College by the GE Fund, the
philanthropic foundation of the General Electric Company.

workshop aims to address the technological advances in a rapidly changing
society, which present opportunities and challenges for engineering educators.
The changes are as diverse as the institutions and populations they serve, but
the common goal is to provide an outstanding and innovative education for
tomorrow's engineers.

Founded in 1795,
Union was the first college chartered by the Regents of the State of New York
and the first liberal arts college to introduce engineering into its
curriculum. In 1993, the GE Fund announced a 5-year, $750,000 grant, for the
development of a new engineering curriculum at Union. Last year, Union
graduated its first class to complete the new curriculum, designed to provide
students with new tools for the increasingly technical and global world of

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Union College group working to restore historic lock on Erie Canal

Posted on May 29, 2001

Schenectady, N.Y (May 29, 2001) – It was the busiest lock
on New York State's Erie Canal, Lock 23 in the town of Rotterdam. In its heyday
around 1880, it served 47,000 vessels a season on the Empire State's most
famous waterway – that's one boat every four minutes through its gates. The
busy task of keeping the canal traffic flowing fell to the locktender, whose
job it was to manually operate massive gates to control the flow of water
through the lock.

On Thursday, May 31 at 2 p.m., students and faculty from Union College's Civil Engineering
Department will erect a replica “locktender's hut” on the original site at Lock
23 in Rotterdam. The 10' by 12' hut, whose design is based on an existing,
authentic structure in Fort Byron, NY, is part of the Civil Engineering
Department's ongoing restoration of Lock 23.

“Locktenders were, next to the
canal boat captains, arguably the most important people working on the canal,
and they needed shelter from the elements,” Civil Engineering Professor Andy
Wolfe said. “The huts were built on site making the operation very efficient.”

In 1999, Wolfe began to uncover Lock 23 by clearing trees, shrubs and other debris from the site. Last year,
the lock was featured as part of Union's exhibition celebrating the 175th
anniversary of the Erie Canal; Professor Wolfe lead tours of the lock for
hundreds of area residents and alumni of the College. Also, Wolfe discussed the significance of Lock 23 on a special
hour-long History Channel special on the Erie Canal.

Union has developed an ambitious proposal to restore the Lock 23 site, which includes re-building the lock gates
and mechanisms, dredging the soil from the canal route and flooding the canal,
building a working replica of a canal boat, and establishing a classroom and
interpretive facility adjacent to the lock.

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Marr has authored several papers

Posted on May 25, 2001

Jonathan Marr, assistant professor of physics, has authored several papers. With G. B. Taylor, T. J. Pearson, and A. C. S. Readhead, a paper titled “Kinematic Age Estimates for Four Compact Symmetric Objects from the Pearson-Readhead Survey” in the September 20, 2000 edition of The Astrophysical Journal; with Taylor and F. Crawford III, a paper titled “Non-uniform free-free absorption in the GPS Radio Galaxy 0108+388” in the March 20, 2001 edition of The Astrophysical Journal. Also, the Research Corporation has awarded Marr a grant of $20,236 for his project “Examination of the spectral turnover in gigahertz-peaked spectrum sources: Synchrotron self-absorption vs. free-free absorption.” Marr is to make a presentation (with Taylor) titled “Multi-Frequency VLBA Observations of 19 Compact Symmetric Objects” at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society Conference this summer in Pasadena, Calif.

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Gmelch published Inside Pitch: Life in Professional Baseball

Posted on May 25, 2001

George Gmelch, professor of anthropology, has published Inside Pitch: Life in Professional Baseball (Smithsonian Institution Press), a book that takes an anthropological look at the culture of baseball, and the career cycle of ballplayers. He also had two articles, “When Baseball Careers End,” and “The Mental Game,” published in NINE: the Journal of the History and Culture of Baseball. He has also given several talks on baseball, including one to the patrons of the Smithsonian's Museum of American History.

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Sowa received the Community Service Award

Posted on May 25, 2001

John R. Sowa, professor of chemistry, received the Community Service Award from the Psychological Association of Northeaster New York for his work in assisting people affected by traumatic brain injury.

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