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Albany Medical College and Union College announce new master’s program in bioethics

Posted on Jun 28, 2001

Click Here to visit bioethics web site

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (June 28, 2001) – The Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership at Union College and the Center for Medical Ethics at Albany Medical College (AMC) have created a distance master's program in bioethics – the second in the nation and the first in the Northeast. It provides distance learning and campus-based education in bioethics for doctors, health care administrators, lawyers, nurses, pharmacists, researchers, and students in graduate and professional programs.

Advanced technology and newer medications, burgeoning knowledge about disease and human biology, and the business of medicine have conspired to create unprecedented ethical concerns.

“Bioethics has grown remarkably in the last two decades, ” said Robert Baker, Ph.D., Union professor of philosophy and co-director of the new master's program. “Increasingly, professionals in the health care field are called upon to act as bioethical experts, providing ethics consultations and serving on ethics committees and institutional review boards despite having, in many cases, little or no formal education in bioethics. This program offers much-needed educational opportunities for those currently providing bioethics services or making policy.”

Patients, families and health care providers face more ethical decisions than ever before, according to Wayne Shelton, Ph.D., co-director of the bioethics program, associate professor of medicine, and associate director of The Center for Medical Ethics, Education and Research at Albany Medical College.

“Instead of asking 'what can be done,' they may find themselves asking 'what should be done?'” Shelton said.

Shelton said these questions can arise at any time. For instance, it might be as a loved one enters the final stages of a terminal disease or as a patient considers the appropriateness of a major medical intervention. For others, it might be as they complete a Health Care Proxy or Living Will.

He said most large medical centers like Albany Med have highly trained staff to focus on these issues, however, smaller community hospitals often do not.

The program, approved by the New York State Education Department, begins August 5 with a two-week on-campus session at both Albany Med and Union in clinical bioethics. The initial class will include about 10 to 12 students; the program is designed to eventually serve up to 15 students per class. Graduates will receive a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in bioethics from AMC and Union College.

Students will be taught by professors from institutions in The Northeast Bioethics Consortium, which was created in 1999. Members currently include Union College, Albany Medical College, Albany Law School and the philosophy department at the University at Albany. Agreements are being developed to extend the consortium to include centers in New York City and Rochester.

“This program is the result of the successful collaboration of these prestigious institutions,” Union College President Roger Hull said. “Through the innovative use of technology, we have created a pioneering program in bioethics higher education that is responsive to the needs of professionals working in the region.”

“Graduating from a program like this can open doors for professionals. People with expertise in this area will be increasingly in demand,” said Vincent Verdile, M.D., interim dean of Albany Medical College.

By combining clinical residencies with on-line course instruction, the bioethics master's program addresses the needs of working health care professionals and students who would otherwise be unable to participate in campus-based programs due to work considerations. Versions of all courses will be offered either in short summer sessions or through distance learning.

Complicating matters further is the fact that access to graduate education in bioethics is extremely difficult, according to Baker. “The need for this program is tremendous since there is no program offering a master's degree in bioethics in the entire Upstate New York area, Vermont, or Western Massachusetts,” he said.

“Moreover, because of the demanding nature of their positions, health care professionals have few, if any, opportunities to take campus-based courses in bioethics, much less earn a degree in the field.

The distance learning component makes the program accessible for working professionals, particularly those located in Upstate New York.”

The curriculum for the AMC/Union College bioethics master's is designed to insure advanced level competence in the skills and fields of knowledge identified as essential in a report by the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH).

While distance learning will make up much of the AMC/Union program, students also will be required to train on-site with bioethicists at Albany Med or another institution in the Northeast Consortium to gain practical experience in clinical ethics.

“While the knowledge required for clinical ethics consultation can be conveyed through on-line instruction, the skills necessary require close supervision by experienced clinical ethicists,” Baker said. “There is no in-class substitute for real-life mediations of human tragedy.”

Union's Graduate Management Institute (GMI) offers a master of science in clinical leadership and the master of science in bioethics, a master of business administration in management and in health systems. Both MBAs are AACSB accredited. GMI stresses intensive, individualized attention; the average class size is 15 students.

The Albany Medical Center is northeastern New York's only academic health sciences center. It consists of one of the nation's oldest medical schools, the Albany Medical College; one of New York's largest teaching hospitals, the Albany Medical Center Hospital; and one of the Capital Region's most active fund raising organizations, the Albany Medical Center Foundation, Inc.

Contacts: Bill Schwarz
Union College, 388-6749
Beth Engeler
Albany Med. Center, 262-3421

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Union College mourns death of sophomore Alex Lee

Posted on Jun 11, 2001

Schenectady, N.Y. (June 11, 2001) – Students at Union College this week were planning memorial services for Alexander Lee, 19, of Chester (Orange County), a sophomore who died Sunday in a swimming accident on the Canajoharie Creek.

Students at the Coffeehouse, a showcase for student talent where Lee often performed, were planning a memorial this evening (Monday).

A campus-wide memorial service is set for Thursday at 2 p.m. in Memorial Chapel.

The family has scheduled a funeral for Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Riverside Memorial Chapel on Broad Street in Mt. Vernon, NY.

Lee was a computer system engineering major and a dean's list student at Union. An active musician, he played the bass and drums in the College's jazz ensemble. He also played frequently with a number of student bands. He was a frequent performer at the Coffeehouse, and served that organization as treasurer.

Lee, the son of Marc and Karen Lee of Chester, N.Y., was to have studied abroad in the Czech Republic this fall.

Students at Union finished classes on Friday, and will begin final exams this week.

Witnesses reported that Lee slipped and fell from the edge of Canajoharie Falls just before 2 p.m. Sunday, striking some rock ledges before falling into the water, police said. Lee had been at Canajoharie Falls, part of Wintergreen Park in the Village of Canajoharie, with two classmates, police said.

He was trapped under the water for a period of time before rescuers were able to recover his body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Community service is part of being a Union athlete

Posted on Jun 5, 2001

Everyone knows that being a member of the Union College athletic community involves a great deal of dedication to both the classroom and the field of competition. However, did you know that community service is also a big part of being a Union College student-athlete?

Several years ago the athletic department began a tradition of having the teams take part in at least one community service project during the year. Here are some of the projects in which this year's teams were involved:

Volleyball participated in
“Read Across America”

The volleyball team participated in “Read Across America,” in which college students read to elementary students. The Dutchwomen traveled to nearby Slingerlands to spend the afternoon with youngsters.

Members of the football team volunteered to help the Schenectady 2000 Project in which they worked to help clean up and restore renovated housing for lower income residents. The Dutchmen also volunteered at Veeder Elementary where they worked on reading skills with third graders. The crew team joined ranks with the Schenectady City Parks and RecreationDepartment and the Stockade Association to clean and restore Washington Park and the adjacent riverfront area. Fencing and benches were painted while overgrown areas were cleared of leaves and brush.

The women's ice hockey team took part in several projects during the year. The team traditionally raises money for the Animal Protective Fireplug 500 Foundation by sponsoring “Pet Snack” at all the home games. The Dutchwomen also spent an afternoon skating with a local Brownie troop and helped shop for Christmas presents for children of low income families.

Members of the women's basketball team took park in Hoopfest 2001 in which the Dutchwomen sponosored a free clinic for 70 girls. They also invited a CYO girls team to play a five minute game at halftime of a Union game and then met with the kids and participated in a practice with the Northeast Parent and Child Society, which is a foster care facility for teenage girls.

The swim team raised $500 by participating in a 5K race for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

The men's ice hockey team were involved with several projects including a Walk to Cure Juvenile Diabetes,” a “Stuffed Animal Toss” in which they donated over 300 stuffed animals to local hospitals that were thrown on the ice by Union College students after the Skating Dutchmen scored their first goal in a 4-2 win over archrival Rensselaer at Achilles Rink, and they raised $2,465 by donating a practice session in which they “Skated Against Cancer.” The team donated $1,000 to the local Cancer Society and $1,465 to the Coaches Foundation, which was established by Shawn Walsh.

The sports information office also got into the act as director George Cuttita and assistant Cassie Lawton (Union Class of 2000) participated in the National Groundhog Shadow Day. Cuttita and Lawton spent the day with Ben Clayman and Helena DiGiuseppe of the Mont Pleasant Junior High School.

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Warzala named ECAC Upstate NY “Co-Player of the Year”

Posted on Jun 5, 2001

Senior Jay Warzala
“Player of the Year”

Senior outfielder Jay Warzala (Whitesboro, NY/Whitesboro) who began his career at Union as a pitcher, was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference's Upstate New York co-“Player of the Year” by a vote of the region's head coaches. Warzala, who earlier this year was selected as the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association's “Player of the Year” shared the ECAC award with Ithaca senior catcher Scott Allen.

Warzala, who as a freshman pitcher came to the plate just once, finished with a .388 lifetime batting average (93 of 240) with 62 RBIs and 52 runs scored. He hit a league-best .448 this season and also led the UCAA with his 33 RBIs.

Senior shortstop Bryan Slekes was named to the ECAC Upstate second team.

The softball team, meanwhile, had senior third baseman Julie Cardettino, junior first sacker Meredith Chace and junior pitcher Sara Johnston all voted to the honorable mention squad.

Junior goalie Pat Forrest represented Union's lacrosse team as he was voted to the ECAC Upstate New York second team while freshman goalie Elizabeth Soto was the lone Dutchwoman to be selected as she was named to the honorable mention team.

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Senior banquet concludes a successful 2000-01 campaign

Posted on Jun 5, 2001

Dan Cole, a junior at Scotia-Glenville High School, welcomed the Class of '01 on the bag pipes.

The athletic department ended a successful 2000-01 athletic season on May 29 by saluting the 78 senior student-athletes who have given so much of your time and talents to Union College and especially to Union athletics these past four years at a banquet at the Edison Club.

Bob McNamara, the “dean” of local television sports news was the event's emcee while Rich Romer, Class of 1988, was the night's guest speaker. Union College President Roger Hull presented the “President's Award” to the women's volleyball team, the men's ice hockey team and the crew team as the programs with the highest grade point average and Val Belmonte, Union's Director of Athletics presented the “Director's Award” to Melissa Matusewicz as the year's “Outstanding Athlete” and to the women's soccer coach, Brian Speck, as the College's “Coach of the Year.

Union enjoyed a great deal of success during the 2000-01 season, both collectively and individually. Women's soccer and football got things rolling last fall with invitations to the NCAA championship tournament. Additionally, the women's soccer team won their second Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association championship in the last three years and captured their second consecutive New York State Women's Collegiate Athletic Association Crown. The women's volleyball team was also invited to the state's postseason tournament, completing a very successful campaign.

The winter season was highlighted by the women's basketball team, which won a college-record 18 games and earned its first postseason invitation in the sport's 26-year history. The men's swim team qualified four of its members for the NCAA championship meet.

Softball dominated the spring success as the Dutch-
women captured their first state championship by winning a rare triple header against New York's top two rated teams. The Dutchwomen finished with their third-straight 20-win campaign.

Individually, Matusewicz headed a field of nine All-Americans as she was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America team. During the year Union had 26 players named to the UCAA All-Conference First-Team in their respective sports with 12 others named to the second team and six honorable mention selections. A total of 44 men and women were selected to the UCAA as “Player or Rookie of the Week.”

Senior baseball standout Jay Warzala and Matusewicz were among the Union players selected as “Players of the Year” by the UCAA coaches in their respective sports.

Most importantly, there were 59 student-athletes, not including freshmen, who generated a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or better and were selected to represent Union College as members of the UCAA “All-Academic Team.”

Also recognized for their accomplishments this year were
the winners of the annual “Prize Day” awards, which honored the male and female “Athlete of the Year” in each class. They are as follows:
senior Bryan Slekes (football and baseball);
senior Melissa Matusewicz (soccer);
junior Yvonne Turchetti (field hockey and lacrosse);
junior Brandon Snee (ice hockey);
sophomore Ridgley Harrison (crew and swimming);
sophomore Jill Ring (basketball and softball);
freshman Victoria Kuzman (soccer and basketball);
freshman Adam Retersdorf (swimming and crew).

Also recognized were senior Julie Cardettino (soccer and softball) as the winner of the Women's Commission Senior Athlete of the Year and Kuzman, who won the Women's Commission “Athletic Promise” award.Among the highlights of the evening were the awards presentation in which all 78 seniors had their pictures presented on screen while they came up to receive their senior gift. Those who earned a Block U Watch for earning a varsity letter throughout their respective careers were also recognized at this time.

The athletic department would like to thank the following sponsors who helped make the night possible. They are:
Hudson River Bank & Trust Company, who donated the senior gifts.
Dinner Table Sponsors:
Anaconda Sports, Boathouse Sports, Brown Coach; DC Sports, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Jim Gross ('63), Marty's True Value, Mark Richter ('91), Stadium Systems, Stoney Lane & Pizzeria and William R. Grant ('49).
Athlete Sponsors included:

Lynn Bateman Pulliman ('78), Howard Blum, Jr. ('70), George & Janice Caraberis, The Collin Group, D&D Automotive, Dental Offices, LLP, Kevin & Diane Eberly ('80), Geppetto's, Eric & Wendy Goidel ('79), Robert & Susan Krickovich, Kenneth & Anne Kroell, Joe & Elizabeth Milano ('36), John Parillo, MD ('57), Richard Roberts ('50), Dorothy Scarpinato ('80), David & Linda Slekes, Richard Swan ('70), Evan & Betsy Anne Vinton ('86), Stan & Barbara White ('73), Lawrence Withington, MD ('32).

Union College athletics wishes to sincerely thank and congratulate the 78 members of the Class of '01 who have left a legacy for future classes to follow.

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