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Katherine Geffcken speaks on women classicists in Union College public lecture on April 4

Posted on Mar 29, 2002

Schenectady, N.Y. (March 29, 2002) – Katherine Geffcken, professor emerita of Latin and Greek at Wellesley College, will speak on “The First American Women Classicists in Rome” on Thursday, April 4, at 5:30 p.m. in Union College's Nott Memorial.

Her talk, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the College's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa through the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Program.

Geffcken, a recognized authority in classics and archaeology, taught at Wellesley from 1963 to 1998. Past president of the Vergilian Society of America, she is a life member and
former director of the American Philological Association and a member of the Archaeological Institute of America. She has been a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome and directed four of the Academy's summer sessions. She is also a fellow and former trustee of the Academy.

She is the author of Comedy in the Pro Caelio with an Appendix on the In Clodium et Curionem; and 11 articles on Garibaldi's defense of Rome (1849) and the buildings of the
Janiculum in Newsletter of the Classical Society of the American Academy in Rome. She is a contributor to the Biographical Dictionary of North American Classicists and to the exhibition catalogue Esther Van Deman:
Images from the Archive of an American Archaeologist in Italy at the Turn of
the Century.
Her special research interests are Latin literature of the
first century B.C.; Roman comedy; American scholars and archaeologists in
Italy; ancient numismatics; and topography and history of the Janiculum, Rome.

For calendar listings:
Speaker: Katherine Geffcken, professor emerita of Latin and Greek at Wellesley College
Topic: “The First American Women Classicists in Rome”
Date: Thursday, April 4
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Place: Union College's Nott Memorial
Cost: free and open to the public
Information: 388-6131

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Emmanuel Pahud and Friends perform April 8

Posted on Mar 28, 2002

Schenectady, N.Y. (March 28, 2002) – Flutist Emmanuel Pahud named “Instrumentalist of the Year 1997” at the prestigious Victoires de la Musique award ceremony in Paris, will perform with violinist Christoph Poppen, violist Hariolf Schlichtig, and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras on
Monday April 8 at 8 p.m. in Union College's Memorial Chapel.

The program will include Mozart's Quartet in C Major, Quartet in A Major, Quartet in G Major, and Quartet in D Major; Webern's String Trio, Op. 20; and Fuminori Tanada's Flute Quartet.

Born in Geneva in January 1970, Pahud started to study music at the age of six. He graduated in 1990 with the Premier Prix from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, after which he continued his studies with Aurele Nicolet.

He has won first prize in many major competitions and he won eight out of the twelve prizes at the International Music competitions of Geneva in 1992, Kobe in 1989 and Duino in 1988. He took the Soloists Prize in the French-speaking Community Radio Awards in Switzerland, and the European Council's Juventus Prize. He is also a laureate of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation and of the International Tribune for Musicians of UNESCO.

At the age of 22, Emmanuel Pahud was appointed principal flute of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Claudio Abbado, a post to which he will be returning in April 2002 after a 20-month sabbatical period.

He gives frequent solo recitals and concerto performances all over the world, and appears regularly at leading international festivals throughout Europe, the U.S. and the Far East. Emmanuel's past two seasons included concerto appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Zurich Tonhalle, the Suisse Romande, as well as duo recital tours with pianist Eric Le Sage in Europe, Japan and North America. Highlights of the next two seasons include a South American début, flute and string quartet tours in the Far East, North America and Europe, a recital tour with Stephen Kovacevitch, and several concerto engagements, in addition to tours to the U.S. with the Barcelona Symphony and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie.

In 1996 he signed an exclusive solo recording contract with EMI. He has since released six discs on the label to unanimous critical acclaim and Pahud's collaboration with EMI is set to be one of the most significant contributions to recorded flute music. Future releases include a collaboration with jazz pianist Jacky Terrasson and Nielsen's Flute Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Violinist Christoph Poppen enjoys a reputation as a conductor, soloist, and chamber musician, and is revered for his teaching activities on the international music scene.

He has won prizes at numerous national and international violin competitions, and in 1978 he established the Cherubini Quartet which, with Mr. Poppen as first violinist, was awarded the Grand Prix at the 1981 International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. Concerts in almost all the world's major concert venues followed, as well as numerous CD, radio and televison recordings. As a soloist, he has made appearances with many leading orchestras and conductors.

Mr. Poppen taught at the Detmold Conservatory as a professor of violin and chamber music from 1988-1995. In 1995, Mr. Poppen became a professor at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin and held the position of president of the school from 1996-2000.

He has been music director of the Munich Chamber Orchestra since 1995. Tours have included concerts on virtually every continent worldwide. Mr. Poppen's most recent release on ECM, Morimur, for solo violin and the Hilliard Ensemble, featuring Bach Partita No. 2 in D minor and related chorales, became an instant best-seller.

Violist Hariolf Schlichtig is best known for being the viola player in the Cherubini-Quartet. During his 20 years in the ensemble, the Cherubini Quartet performed all over the world and in many international music festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, and the Rheingau Music Festival. The Quartet made a number of recordings on EMI, their discography including compositions by Schubert, Schumann, Haydn, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Schumann, and Aribert Reimann.

Among Mr. Schlichtig's teachers were Nathan Milstein and Cecil Aronowitz, but the most important teacher in his musical education was Sandor Vegh. In 1979 he received a “Lehrauftrag” at the High School for Music in Aachen, and in 1987 he became a professor at the High School for Music and Theatre in Munich where he currently teaches viola as well as chamber music. He also teaches courses at the IMS England, at the Karl Klingler Foundation, at Ticino Musica Locarno, and in the Haus Marteau Germany.

As a soloist Mr. Schlichtig has performed with many outstanding orchestras and has recently recorded viola concertos by Stamitz, Hofmeister, and Zelter with the Munich Chamber Orchestra for release in December 2001 on the TUDOR label.

Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras is recognized as one of the most outstanding cellists of his generation. His repertoire includes both classical and contemporary works: he has premiered cello concertos by Ivan Fedele with the Orchestre National de France and by Gilbert Amy with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. With Concerto Köln, he has performed Schumann's Cello Concerto on a period instrument at the Luzern Festival and the Köln Philharmonie, and he will tour both Europe and the United States in 2002-2003.

Mr. Queyras has been invited to give chamber music or solo concerts at the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, Athens Concert Hall, Brussels Philharmonie, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and Carnegie Hall in New York. His solo engagements with orchestras have included the Orchestre National de Belgique, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, 'I Pomeriggi Musicali', Orchestra Verdi, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, Basel Radio Orchestra and Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra. During the 2001-2002 season, the Printemps Musical de Cosme and Kilkenny Festivals invited him as both an artistic director and a performer for their chamber music concert series.

After graduating with first prize honours from the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Lyon, he was awarded a scholarship to further his studies at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, and at both the Juilliard School and Mannes College of Music in New York. At the age of 18, Mr. Queyras was awarded “Most Promising Young Artist” at the Rostropovich Competition in Paris, and was a prizewinner at the Munich International Competition.

Jean-Guihen Queyras was the solo cellist of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, with whom he has recorded the Ligeti Cello Concerto conducted by Pierre Boulez for Deutsche Grammophon. This recording was awarded the acclaimed 1995 Gramophone Contemporary Music Award. In 2001, Mr. Queyras was appointed a professor at the music conservatory in Trossingen, Germany.

Tickets at $20 ($8 for students) are available in advance at the Office of Communications, Union College (518) 388-6131 and at the door at 7 p.m. For more information, call 372-3651.

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Author, journalist and playwright Barbara Garson speaks April 8 at Union College

Posted on Mar 28, 2002

Schenectady, N.Y. (March 28, 2002) – Barbara Garson, author of Money Makes the World Go Around, will speak on Monday, April 8, at 7 p.m. in the F.W. Olin Center Auditorium at Union College.

Her talk is free and open to the public.

Her most recent book, Money Makes the World Go Around: One Investor Tracks her Cash Through the Global Economy (Viking 2001), sets out to answer the question, “How much is each of us affected by the flow of capital around a world without barriers?” She invests in an aggressive mutual fund and then track's her money's every stop as it races digitally around the world for loans, speculation and investments. The trail takes her to the Federal funds trading desk of a Manhattan bank, a Brooklyn shrimp importer, a new oil refinery in Asia and factories in Tennessee and Maine.

Garson is the author of the play MacBird, which has sold over a half million copies, and two classic books about work: All the Livelong Day and The Electronic Sweatshop. Her other plays include Security and the Obie Award-winning children's play The Dinosaur Door. She has written for The New York Times, Harpers, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and Newsweek. For her nonfiction, journalism and playwriting, she has won a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a National Press Club Citation.

In 1964 Garson was editor of the Free Speech Movement (FSM) Newsletter in Berkeley. During the Vietnam War she worked in an anti-war coffee shop for GIs near the Fort Lewis Army Base. She was one of the six plaintiffs in a successful suit that the National Writer's Union won at the Supreme Court on behalf of Free Lance Writers' and their electronic copyrights. She is active in the movement against corporate globalism and for global justice.

The talk is sponsored by Union's Women's Studies, and the departments of economics, history, English, anthropology, Latin American studies, American studies, and East Asian studies.

For more information, call 388-6046.

For calendar listings:

Speaker: Barbara Garson, author, playwright and journalist 
Topic: Public lecture
Date: Monday, April 8
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: F.W. Olin Center Auditorium, Union College
Cost: free and open to the public
Information: 388-6046

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Professor ‘Fuzzy’ takes a bow

Posted on Mar 22, 2002

His Rolodex is filled with names, and for each name, the professor has a phone number and an observation.

Jodi Tesser. The most upbeat person in the history of the world.

John Vero. Wants to be a member of Congress. I wouldn't bet against it.

Professor Jim Underwood's students have gone on to become lawyers and politicians. And they've gone on to have children who've become lawyers and politicians. Underwood, the longest-serving professor at Union College, has taught them, too.

When Underwood started teaching, John F. Kennedy was president, and the young leader's enthusiasm inspired a generation of students to pick an obscure major for the time: political science. Back then, his students wrote their papers by hand, and handouts were cranked out on mimeograph machines. Today, his students write their papers on computers and surf for court opinions and other course work over the Internet.

Over his long tenure, Underwood, 64, has seen the name of his department change from the Government Center to Political Sciences. He has also outlived two nicknames: Fuzzy, given by his students, who can no longer remember why; and Sneakers, by his fellow professors, for the white, rubber-sole shoes he wore until a well-meaning colleague suggested he buy a new pair. Underwood plans to retire next spring and for now is teaching part time.

Despite the changes, some things have stayed constant, like the moments of joy that arrive unannounced, when the lessons click and his students carry on the classroom discussion themselves. He stands back in awe as they debate the influence of soft money on the political process or racial profiling after 9/11. The saddest moment arrives with commencement each year, when the wooden lawn chairs are smacked shut and an erie silence descends over the campus.

“You just feel empty,” he said.

Underwood was finishing his graduate work at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University when one weekend his roommate invited Union's debate team to sleep on their dorm-room floor. A poli-sci major mentioned that the college was hiring, and in 1963 Underwood joined the faculty. He's been there ever since.

It's not a job he takes lightly.

“First of all, you can never not go to class,” he said. “Most jobs, at some point or another, you can call in sick. But with teaching you have a responsibility to the students. You have to be dying to say to a student, “I couldn't read your thesis.”

A teacher also has to be on the lookout for lessons, a duty that can rob life of some simple pleasures. The New York Times is one. “I'm reading to see what I can Xerox for my class,” he said. “I read it standing up, whenever I can, but I don't read it for pleasure.”

Then there's the business of keeping up with the students who have passed through his door over the last 40 years, seven of which he spent as dean of faculty. Christmas cards line his office. His Rolodex bulges with names. Visitors stop by his cluttered office at random. “Sometimes you remember the name with the face,” he said. “Sometimes it's the other way around.”

Staying in touch with two students, Bob Carney and Phil Mueller, has been easy. Carney, now the district attorney for Schenectady County, and Mueller, his deputy chief, pay a visit to their old professor each year to talk to his civil rights class about the death penalty.

“He's just a guy who loves people,” said Carney. “He's endlessly fascinated by what's important to you and your life.”

“He didn't have the air of a professor handing down wisdom from above,” said Mueller. “He was just there to share it with you and get you as excited about the subject as he was.”

Some of Underwood's quirks have rubbed off on his students. After noticing that Underwood kept his “to do” lists on folded index cards tucked into his front pocket, Jim Sletteland started to do the same. “You pulled out a couple of bucks from your left side pocket and there it was,” said Sletteland, a 1974 graduate whose son J.P. also had Underwood as a professor. “It was always with you so you could keep planning ahead.”

The student Underwood described as the future congressman, John Vero, recalls throwing back a shot of Southern Comfort with the professor at Chet's, the campus watering hole, when he finished his thesis in 1997.

“He's just such a cool guy,” said Vero, now a lawyer who works in Albany. “I'll never forget that.”

The desire to keep in touch with a favorite professor hasn't escaped Underwood, either. A photograph of several political science professors he had at Franklin & Marshall College, where he met his wife, Jean, rests against one bookshelf. He sought out his teachers when his daughters were looking at colleges a decade ago.

“Almost everyone's nostalgic about their college days,” he said and shrugged.

Underwood knows of at least seven students whose children he has also taught. He advised Martin Strosberg on his 1968 thesis about the Capital District Regional Planning Commission, headed by former Albany Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd. Now a professor of health care management at Union's graduate school, Strosberg sees his old professor daily. His son, Nathaniel, a senior, is currently working with Underwood on a thesis about why the Los Angeles metro was built but New York City's Second Avenue subway wasn't.

The Strosbergs' theses share one thing in common — penciled comments. Neither Strosberg could say why their professor avoids pens.

Underwood explained. “I make a comment and two pages later the person has addressed the point,” he said. “I've gotta go back and erase.”

Though retirement is still a year away, the professor has formulated a plan, which he described in the excited tone of a student who has landed his first job. He will spend time at the Otsego County Courthouse, near his home in Cooperstown, observing family court.

“I think if someone wants to see a real picture of America, they should probably go to prison or family court,” he said. “It's going to be pretty depressing, I think. But I want to go.”

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Former chamber president joins Union College

Posted on Mar 21, 2002

Schenectady, N.Y. (March 21, 2002) – Wallace Altes, former president of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, who has served in that role for more than 11 years, will join Union College's MBA @ Union program to serve as the graduate school's executive-in-residence beginning in August.

Altes, who has held several state and national leadership positions, will support the school's effort to create and enhance business partnerships with firms throughout the Capital Region. In addition to his work with Union, Altes serves as executive counsel to Sawchuk, Brown Associates, a leading Albany-based public relations firm.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the MBA program at Union,” said Susan Lehrman, director of the MBA @ Union program. “Wally has distinguished himself as a leader in the Region's business community, and we look forward to tapping into his keen knowledge of emerging trends and his impressive contacts in the business community. Strategic links to public and private sector professionals are a critical component in the success of our program; our students and faculty will benefit greatly from his talents and expertise.”

During Altes' tenure with the Albany Chamber, membership grew by 70 percent to more than 2,700 businesses and organizations representing 85,000 employees. The
Albany-Colonie Chamber is among the top 30 in the United States in terms of
membership and budget, and among the elite 20 percent accredited by the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce.

“I have long admired Union
College and its outreach to the community, and I'm pleased to be a part of its first-rate MBA program,” Altes said. “I look forward to working to with the faculty, alumni, students, and the business community to help the program reach
its goals.”

Altes is recognized for his
creation of the Albany Chamber's Tech Valley initiative, an effort aimed at marketing and promoting the region as an expanding area for technology. In April, the Capital region will host the second annual Summit in Tech Valley.

Altes has received numerous awards and honors, including the William Golub Tikkun Olam Award by the United Jewish
Federation in 1998; Marketer of the Year by the Capital Region Chapter of the American Marketing Association in 1999; the Marketer-Executive-Citizen Award by the Sales and Marketing Executives of Eastern New York in 2000. He was also Man of the Year by e-albany.com in 2000; and received the NENY Arthritis
Foundation's Accolade for Community Service, with his wife, Dr. Jane Altes, former president of Empire State College, in 2001.

Now in its seventh decade, Union's MBA emphasizes close personal attention (the average class size is 15), strong
links with the global business community, individualized programs, and the effective use of technology. Recently, the program earned accreditation by the
AACSB, the nation's leading accreditation organization for business schools.

The MBA program at Union is one of only 28 graduate-only business programs worldwide to hold AACSB accreditation. Other graduate-only schools include London Business School, Stanford
University, University of Chicago, Duke University, Dartmouth College, Yale
University, Columbia University, and Harvard University. In the United States, less than 30 percent of collegiate business programs are AACSB accredited.

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