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Professor Christie Sorum featured on History Channel

Posted on Aug 30, 2002

Dean of Faculty and Professor of Classics Christie Sorum was
a featured scholar in a History Channel program titled “Gods and Goddesses”
which aired recently.

Following are a few of the things she said in the two-hour special:

has been inhabited since about 70,000 B.C., and there were invasions of people
from the Middle East and the north. Each invasion led to
not another set of divinities, but a further layering of divinities … Greek
gods are a real amalgam of cultures, cultures of the Middle East mostly.”

“I think it says something very interesting about a culture
whether it considers its formative moments to be ones of conflict or ones of …
unified peaceful production. I am overwhelmed each time I study or teach a
course that deals with Greek mythology how persistent these conflicts are.”

“When you think about a divinity, you're talking about the
unknown and you really can only talk about the unknown in terms of the known.
In the Bible, in Genesis, it says, 'God came down and he walked in the Garden
of Eden in the cool of the evening.' It's almost impossible to talk about
divinities without doing something like that. Xenophanes said, 'If horses could
draw, they would draw their gods as horses.'”

“Hope is … an evil, which is, I think, fascinating … Hope
allows you to act with a sense that you can control the future and … that is a
very dangerous thing to do. You can't control the future.”

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Recent alumnae join admissions staff

Posted on Aug 30, 2002

Genevieve Mbamalu '02 (left) and Darcy Tuczynski '00

The College welcomes two recent
graduates – Genevieve Mbamalu '02 and Darcy Tuczynski '00 – as new admissions
counselors this fall.

who graduated just months ago from Union
College, won't have to look far to
find people who can help her in recruiting students at Union's
admissions office.

“I have friends here who are sophomores, juniors
and seniors,” said Mbamalu, who was well-known on campus through her
involvement in many activities. “I can always call on them to help me.”

Mbamalu, a native of Nigeria
who graduated from A. Philip Randolph High School in New
York City, joins Union's
admissions office as a counselor. She is to visit students at schools in Long
Island; Washington, D.C.;
Maryland; Virginia;
Delaware; North
Carolina and Tennessee.

“We're thrilled to
have Genevieve back at Union,”
said Dan Lundquist, vice president for admissions and financial aid. “She brings
the same energy and enthusiasm to the admissions office that she brought to her
activities as a student.”

A major in sociology with a minor in biology,
Mbamalu did her senior thesis on “The Role of Cultural Tradition and Government
Apathy in Promoting HIV/AIDS in South African Women.” She plans to pursue a
career with an international public health agency.

While a student at Union,
she took terms abroad in Jamaica
and Italy. She
did research fellowships on complementary and alternative medicine, success of
the breast cancer movement, and racial and ethnic differences with informal
care giving.

She was a recipient of the Franklin L. Fero
Memorial Scholarship and the College's Meritorious Service Award.

Among her activities
while a student at Union,  she was a
Science and Technology tutor; a program coordinator for Student Activities;
conference planning chair for the College chapter of the National Association
of Black Engineers; a disc jockey for WRUC, the College radio station; and
co-chair of the Sociology Club.

She was a computer
consultant through the College's USTAR
program, which provides technical support to faculty and students; an assistant
to a vice president at Guggenheim Brothers, facilitating realty funds projects
and organizing scholarships for doctoral candidates; and an atmospheric science
intern at NASA's Langley Research
Center, where she interpreted
global climate change data.

Tuczynski says she is glad to be back at “a place that feels like
home.” The Greenfield Center
native and 1996 graduate of Saratoga Springs
Senior High School returns to her
alma mater as an admissions counselor.

“I was the liberal arts queen,”
said the interdepartmental major in biology and philosophy of her time as a
Union student. She studied for a term in France
(she also had a French minor); played violin in the College orchestra; and
served as editor of Ephemeris, a
philosophy journal that she founded. She was active in the College's Big
Brothers/Big Sisters program, serving as a “Big” and managing a summer camp at Union
to serve the “Littles” while their “Bigs” were away. She played on the field
hockey team. Throughout her four years at Union, Tuczynski worked in the
admissions office – as an office assistant, tour guide, overnight host and
finally, senior interviewer.

“Darcy's homecoming represents a
continuation of the great work she did with us as a student,” said Dan
Lundquist, vice president for admissions and financial aid. “We're thrilled to
have her back.”

Since graduating from Union,
Tuczynski has worked for Deloitte Consulting in New York
City, specializing in health care and life science

She is to represent the College in
visits to schools in New York's
Southern Tier, western Massachusetts,
New Hampshire and Vermont.

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Union College mourns loss of Professor Hans Freund

Posted on Aug 28, 2002

Hans Joachim Freund, Hale Professor of English Emeritus at Union College, died Saturday, August 24, 2002, after a short illness.

He was born in Cologne, Germany.
Professor Freund has been described by his colleagues as the “true modern Renaissance man” and his teaching was often hailed by his students for its power, range and intensity. He taught a wide range of courses that explored Western cultural in the arts, the classics, and religious studies.

He was born in Cologne, Germany. He became a leading actor in the Max Reinhardt Theatre in Vienna, Austria. A victim of Nazi racial laws, he was forced to flee Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia, and came to the United States as a refugee in 1939. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946.

He obtained his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. from Columbia University. He taught at RPI in Troy from 1956 until 1964 when he accepted a professorship at Union College. He retired in 1989. In his retirement years, he became a local farmer and baker of note in Capital District farmer's markets.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia, of Hebron, Washington County; and a sister, Ilse, of Manhattan.

Interment will be at Vale Cemetery in Schenectady and will be private. A memorial service will be held at a later date at Union College.

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FleetBoston interns plan to stay on the job

Posted on Aug 23, 2002

Adriana Zavala, a senior majoring
in sociology and Japanese, so enjoyed her summer internship at Schenectady Day
Nursery that she signed on to work there 16 hours per week even after her
classes at Union resume this fall.

Fleet intern Adriana Zavala '03 with a friend at Schenectady Day Nursery

That's on top of a double major,
an ambitious senior thesis on attitudes toward AIDS in Japan,
a job as a coordinator for Big Brothers/Big Sisters (she has a “little” too), a
DJ position with WRUC, and a term as president of the sociology club.

Esther Bauscher,
a junior pre-med student from Cambridge,
plans to continue working for Habitat for Humanity in Schenectady
once she resumes studies toward her majors in psychology and biology.

Zavala's and Bauscher's
experiences are typical of the six Union students who served as interns this
summer with local non-profits in a program sponsored by FleetBoston
Financial Group.

“They're all hooked,” said Janet
Mattis of the Becker Career
Center, who coordinated the
program. “All of the interns have said it was just right for them and that they
plan to continue in some capacity with their organization after this summer.”

wanted to return this summer to Habitat because volunteering there during high
school was “the greatest experience of my life.” Shortly after she arrived,
however, she found herself replacing a departed project manager. “I expected to
be doing all this menial stuff,” she said. “But I pretty much ran the show.”

Senior economics major Michelle Arcuri interned at
Bethesda House, where she assisted with a newsletter and helped guests of the Schenectady
shelter with budgeting and other tasks. “I wanted to push my comfort limit
while I still had the chance to,” she said of working at Bethesda House. “After
graduation, an opportunity to volunteer at an organization like (Bethesda
House) would not be feasible, if for no other reason than financial.”

Other Union students and their
respective non-profits are: Tanu Chandra '03, Girls
Inc.; Jessica Eaton '03, Schenectady Museum;
and Alyson Ligon '04, Nathan
Littauer Hospital.

The $20,000 grant from FleetBoston covers a $3,300 stipend for each of the six
students. The College has received $75,000 in support from FleetBoston
over the last three years.
“The FleetBoston intern program was an enormous value
not only to the interns, but to the organizations they served as well,” said
Paul Richer, executive director of Habitat for Humanity.

College has a unique leadership
role in Schenectady,” said Hermes
Ames, president of Fleet Bank of Upstate New York. “We are pleased to support
their efforts to provide local non-profits with the benefits of their students'
knowledge and expertise. This type of collaborative effort will benefit all of
the participants as well as the entire community.”

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Junior puts classes on hold to work with Hillary Clinton

Posted on Aug 23, 2002

Amy Bonitatibus with Senator Clinton

Amy Bonitatibus was supposed
to be a junior this year at Union College. But instead of studying toward her double major in
political science and biology, she will be interim deputy press secretary to
U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Rotterdam native earned the post by impressing the senator and
her staffers with her hard work as an intern and being at the right place at
the right time: the woman she replaces – Jennell Cofer – is taking a six-month
maternity leave.

Bonitatibus, who began the
internship in Clinton's Washington office in April, found herself taking on more
responsibilities, eventually going to press conferences in place of Cofer. By
the end of May, she was offered the job.

“I was shocked,” she recalls
about getting the offer. “I said to them, 'Do you know I'm still in school?'”

She needed a few days to
consider the rare opportunity. She had to check with College officials to
ensure that she could defer a planned term abroad to Australia, and to make sure she had enough credits to graduate
on time. She also spoke with Union College President Roger Hull who quipped, “If
you don't take this opportunity, I don't want you back.”

And she had to check with
U.S. Rep. Michael McNulty's Washington office, where she had agreed to intern this summer. “I
called and I said, 'I've been offered this other position,' and they said, 'And
you're thinking of turning it down to come here? Are you kidding?'”

She accepted the post in Clinton's office the next day.

“After accepting the position
… I conducted an interview with the senator and she congratulated me on my new
position and expressed her excitement for having me here,” she recalls. “She
didn't realize that I was still in school — let alone a sophomore, which I
still don't think she knows — but she said that she thinks it's great that I
was willing to take time off to work in D.C. She explained that her daughter,
Chelsea, also took a term off to work campaigning for her during her Senate

A typical week finds
Bonitatibus doing a range of tasks including writing press releases,
determining what interviews the senator will honor, scheduling press events, and
conducting Q&A's with the senator for a radio and TV feeds.

“So far, this has been an
unparalleled learning experience and a great taste for the challenges that
await me in the future,” she said.

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