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Crime scene investigation contest for capital region students

Posted on Mar 28, 2005

Forty students from nine Capital Region high schools will become crime scene investigators in the fictional town of Willow Creek on Friday, April 1, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in the F.W. Olin Center and Science and Engineering complex at Union College.

This year students will be asked to help the Willow Creek curling team manager as he tries to develop thermal foot packs for the team.  Lab data has been stolen and the teams of students must discover which substance will be best for the project before the Olympic qualifying game at the county fair. Teams of students will analyze samples and do some detective work to recover data from a stolen briefcase.

The exercise is part of Union's third annual Irving Langmuir Chemistry Laboratory Competition, an event designed to expose students in Regents-level chemistry courses to the excitement of doing chemistry.

Participating schools are Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Guilderland, Hoosic Valley, Mechanicville, Niskayuna, South Colonie, Schenectady, Shaker and Stillwater.

The students will use their laboratory skills to solve the make-believe case using real samples. The students will use Union's laboratories and a variety of chemistry analytical techniques. They will be assisted by Union College chemistry students.

The Irving Langmuir Chemistry Laboratory Competition was organized by Union's chemistry department with support from Albany Molecular Research Inc and Schenectady International Inc.

This year's program was organized by Joanne Kehlbeck, assistant professor of chemistry, and a number of local and retired high school science teachers.

“The Langmuir competition is designed as a fun way to get the high school students to make creative use of some of the things they have been learning in their Regents chemistry courses,” said Kehlbeck. “At the same time, this is a great way to introduce them to the fun of doing chemistry.”

Irving Langmuir, a GE research chemist who taught at Union, was the first industrial chemist to win the Nobel Prize. His discoveries included the gas-filled incandescent light bulb, atomic hydrogen welding and cloud seeding. Langmuir was the inspiration for Dr. Felix Hoenikker, the central character in Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle, in which the scientist developed “Ice-Nine” that turned water into a solid.

For further questions about the competition, please contact Joanne Kehlbeck at 388-6776 or kehlbecj@union.edu.

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In Hull’s honor: Schenectady County Library to establish special collection

Posted on Mar 28, 2005

Schenectady — The Schenectady County Public Library is working to ensure that the community remembers Union College President Roger Hull long after he moves on to other pursuits. He will step down in June after 15 years in the post.
   The trustees of the public library have created a fund to establish a collection of material by local artists about Schenectady.
   The collection is be named the Roger Hull Schenectady Collection. It will be placed within the proposed $5 million wing to the library's main branch downtown. The addition will be constructed next year.
   The trustees are seeking $50,000 for the fund, which will be used to obtain books, movies, and art related to Schenectady.
   The library has some material already; it will be available for circulation, said trustee President Esther Swanker.
   “This is to honor him for all the things he has done for the city,” Swanker said. “He does love the city and he's a great reader.”
   The library is preparing a mailing for April to promote the fund, she said.

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Two juniors named Goldwater Scholars

Posted on Mar 25, 2005

David Olson and Fatima Mahmood

Two juniors with long records of undergraduate research – Fatima Mahmood and David Olson – have been named Barry M. Goldwater Scholars, a prestigious prize that provides up to $7,500 per year to undergraduates who are destined for doctoral study.

Their selection brings to six the number of Union students to be so honored since 2002. Other recent recipients are Shira Mandel '05, Mark Hoffman '03, Desiree Plata '03, and Will Johnson '02.

“This is really the type of award that helps not just the winners, but all of our students,” said Prof. Ann Anderson, who recruits and advises the campus Goldwater nominees. “This puts our programs on the radars of the best graduate schools and it makes Union an appealing choice for top high school students.

“Fatima and David were strong candidates for the Goldwater because of their significant undergraduate research experience,” Anderson added.

Mahmood, a math and physics double major, recently won the award for best undergraduate paper at a conference of the New York State Section of the American Physical Society. She presented a research project titled “Neutral Meson Analysis of Photoproduction from the Proton,” which she did with Prof. Michael Vineyard of physics.

The Clifton Park native is a 2002 graduate of Shenendehowa High School. At Union, she is a dean's list student and William Golub Presidential Scholar. She also presented her research last spring at Union's Steinmetz Symposium, an exposition of student scholarly and creative achievement.

After Union, she would like earn a Ph.D. in mathematics or physics and then conduct her own research as a college professor and inspire students to study science and math.

Olson, a biochemistry major, is a 2002 graduate of Mohawk (N.Y.) High School. He was a member of the 15-student contingent from Union that attended the 229th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Diego earlier this month.

He has conducted research with Prof. Joanne Kehlbeck of chemistry.

He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry. He is considering research on the design, synthesis and evaluation of novel molecules possessing interesting biological activities.

“It's a prestigious award and it's been nice to have all that comes with it,” said Mandel, last year's winner, who does research in the College's Aerogel Lab under the direction of Anderson and Prof. Mary Carroll. “All that comes with it” includes offers for other scholarships and instant credibility with the nation's top graduate programs, she said.

The Goldwater puts a premium on undergraduate research with possible applications, notes Mandel, a double major in chemistry and mechanical engineering. “They want to see that you've completed research and that it has applications that you've thought about as you do the research.”

The Goldwater Foundation awarded 320 scholarships for the 2005-2006 academic year to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the United States. For more information, visit: http://www.act.org/goldwater/.

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Cunningham, Eisenhut named ECAC basketball all-stars

Posted on Mar 23, 2005

CAPE COD, MA — The Commissioner of the ECAC Phil Buttafuoco has announced the ECAC Division III Upstate Women's Basketball All-Stars and Player of the Year.

Selected to the ECAC Second Team were two Union players. Senior forward Katlyn Cunningham (Clarksburg, MA/Drury) and junior guard Erika Eisenhut (Mohawk/Mohawk) were both honored on the second team and were joined by Nazareth's Sara Shipley, St. John Fisher's Kathy Baum and William Smith's Marisa Vespa.

Cunningham led the Dutchwomen in scoring with a 12.1 points average, and rebounding at 6.8 in 27 games. Eisenhut started all 28 games for Union, and led the squad in assists (91), steals (73) and blocks (12) while scoring at a 10.5 clip. Union finished 19-9 for Head Coach Mary Ellen Burt, and the Dutchwomen reached the ECAC Upstate Championship Game.

Senior guard Stephanie Cleary of Ithaca College was tabbed the ECAC Division III Upstate Women's Basketball Player of the Year. Joining Cleary on the first team was guard Ashley Broadhurst of Brockport, Oswego guard Kelly Mraz, Rochester guard Kelly Westcott and Rensselaer forward Kaitlyn Saunders.

In 2004-2005, the ECAC honored more than 55 women's basketball players during the winter months. The Conference also hosted four Division III women's basketball championships in the regions of New England, Southern, Upstate and Metro. The ECAC's membership includes 323 Divisions I, II, and III colleges and universities from Maine to North Carolina. The conference provides services to its constituents that include the administration of 110 championships and events in 35 men's and women's sports. The ECAC honors more than 3,000 student-athletes during the academic year through its all- star and player of the week program. Each week of the winter season, the conference has recognized five women's basketball athletes in Divisions II and III.

2005 ECAC Division III Upstate Women's Basketball All-Stars

Player of the Year
G Stephanie Cleary Ithaca Sr.

First Team
G Ashley Broadhurst Brockport Fr.
G Stephanie Cleary Ithaca Sr.
G Kelly Mraz Oswego So.
G Kelly Westcott Rochester Sr.
F Kaitlyn Saunders Rensselaer Sr.

Second Team
G Erika Eisenhut Union Jr.
F Katlyn Cunningham Union Sr.
C Sara Shipley Nazareth Sr.
G Kathy Baum St. John Fisher Jr.
G Marisa Vespa William Smith Fr.

Honorable Mention
Dani Maye, Fr., G, Cortland
Ava Thomas, So., F, Utica

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Arlene Baker’s “Silk Spaces” exhibit opens April 1

Posted on Mar 23, 2005

Schenectady, N.Y. (March 23, 2005) – Schenectady artist Arlene Baker will show works from her “Silk Spaces” series – “an exploration of the aesthetics of the sublime on an intimate scale” — in an exhibit that inaugurates the Humanities Gallery.

The show runs April 1 through June 12.  The opening reception is Wednesday, April 6, from 4 to 6 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Baker's “Silk Spaces” series evolved a dozen years ago from earlier work in which she had explored the interplay of colors, textures, horizons and space, first in large-scale canvas hangings, and later in small-scale gouache-on-paper paintings.

Arlene Baker “Silk Spaces”

“In this series, I restrict myself to a uniform format — 8 inches x 20 inches unframed, 14 inches x 26 inches framed — limiting my materials to paint, pins, paper, foam core board and silk,” she said. “By painting with gouache, paper, pins, and transparent overlays I create subtle interplays of color and texture that evolve into intriguing spaces and horizons.  In my more recent paintings I focus on the contrast between the metallic glint of the pins and the soft texture of the veils, emphasizing the ambiguity of surfaces. I think of these veiled paintings as explorations of the aesthetics of the sublime on an intimate scale.”

Baker, born and raised in New York City, studied art at the City College of New York.  She continued her studies at the University of Minnesota and at the University of Iowa, where she earned her MA and MFA degrees.  She completed her post-graduate education at various London art schools and later became a member of an artists' collective known as the Barbican Arts Group.

She has taught and been an artist-in-residence at colleges and universities in Britain and the United States, including Union, where she was artist in residence in 1979. She has exhibited in the Midwest (including the Detroit Institute of Art and the University of Iowa), London, New York City and Upstate New York (including the Schenectady Museum).  She returns to London frequently to work with the Barbican Arts Group.

The Humanities gallery is on the second floor of the south end of the Humanities Building, opposite the entrance of Memorial Chapel. Gallery hours are weekdays 2 to 5 p.m. For more information, call 388-8045.


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