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A winning night for Union athlete-scholars

Posted on May 27, 2008

Atletic awards dinenr May 2008

The recent 2008 Union Athletics Senior Appreciation Dinner recognized the achievements of 87 seniors and other individuals at College Park Hall.

Featured were five teams represented in NCAA team or individual post-season events; five teams in ECAC tournaments (including a championship); six All-Americans; six Liberty League Players of the Year; and five league Coaching Staffs of the Year.

Union also produced: 164 all-league academic performers; three Academic All-District selections; a Watson Fellowship recipient; 64 league all stars; 15 region all-stars; a New York State Women’s Collegiate Scholar Athlete; and the first female two-time All-American in Union’s track & field history.

Director of Athletics Jim McLaughlin ’93 presided over the evening, which included remarks from President Stephen C. Ainlay, the presentation of athletic appreciation awards, and recognition of athletic prizes.

The Athletics Appreciation Award went to Senior Associate Director of Athletics Bill Scanlon, who is retiring after 38 years of service to the College. Scanlon is the winningest coach in Union’s men’s basketball history.

The seniors who spoke on behalf of their classmates were soccer and lacrosse player Caitlin Cuozzo; lacrosse player Keri Messa; soccer and track and field competitor Stanley Pietrak; men’s crew and track and field competitor Andrew Krauss; soccer and track and field athlete Bridget Duffy; and Cassandra Denefrio of the crew team.

For complete details of the awards ceremonies, click here.

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Schenectady as a foreign land

Posted on May 27, 2008


Former exchange students gauge the impact of a year at Union in the early 1960s

A surgeon from Uruguay, a philosophy professor from the Netherlands, a computer engineer from Germany and a former United Nations interpreter from France met in Spain in June 2007. The four men were on vacation and reminiscing about another adventure in a foreign land: three trimesters at Union in 1961 and 1962. Federico Schneeberger is a general surgeon Evangelic Hospital of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Klaus Rittman is a computer engineering consultant and former IBM employee living in Stuttgart, Germany. Erik Krabbe is a leading scholar in the field of logic and argumentation and is in his last year as professor at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Claude Echard is a retired United Nations interpreter living in Geneva after years of moving to U.N. outposts around the globe. The four reunited in Barcelona and later reflected on the impact of their year at Union. They financed their Union education with a combination of scholarships from the Institute of International Education, the Fulbright Commission and lodging from a host of fraternities including Phi Gamma Delta, Sigma Phi and Alpha Delta Phi. Union has for many decades provided a range of study abroad opportunities for students. But that is just half the equation. On average, there are 30 international students from nations ranging from the Czech Republic and Japan studying at Union each year.  


Klaus Rittmann

The academic year I spent at Union College was the most valuable experience in my education. Within one year I acquired more insight, knowledge and information than ever before or after. Union gave me the chance to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds. From that time on, thanks to the excellent faculty at the College, I had a much better appreciation of world events. I finished my academic studies in Germany with a master’s degree in mathematics in the early 1960s. Then I joined IBM, where I stayed for 28 years. I worked on projects related to software development. I spent several years in the United States, Switzerland and Belgium, before settling down in Germany. Since 1984 I have also been lecturing regularly at the University for Applied Sciences in Stuttgart, Germany. After leaving IBM in the 1990s, I continued working in the computer field as an independent consultant. I was born in Pforzheim, Germany. I have been married for 40 years and have two children and one grandchild. I believe I was able to teach them the value of traveling and meeting with other people in order to further mutual understanding and peace.  


Dr. Federico Schneeberger

My scholarship to Union gave me a new experience. I was able to participate in the daily life of an American educational institution. It was very significant for us to compete successfully with the student community at Union; that we could be on the Dean’s List proved that we were competitive. Being in a small city gave us the chance to communicate more easily with the local community. We became junior ambassadors of our own countries for local groups and associations. So, as a result, I managed to get to know Americans quite well and they in turn showed a great interest in learning about our realities. Also, they opened up intellectually to us. Even if, from a purely academic point of view, what I learned at Union was not essential for my career in medicine, my study of the English language, which I started at Union, and completed here in Montevideo, was useful. I finished my studies in Uruguay and later became a general surgeon, a job which I still perform today. In 1970 I got married and went on to raise a large family with six children. I will always feel gratitude to Union College for the valuable experience.


Erik Krabbe

I was granted a scholarship by Union College and hospitality by the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, as well as a Fulbright travel grant. I spent a full year studying the liberal arts. That year has been extremely valuable for me. It helped me to extend my experience by getting to know another culture and another language. More specifically, it was at Union that I developed a taste for academic life and respect for academic standards. Also, the year at Union gave me the opportunity to study various fields simultaneously (something unknown in the Netherlands), and thus decide on what field to take up. At Union I took courses in English, American civilization, economics, American drama and philosophy. Professor Paul Kurtz’s excellent introduction to philosophy course made me decide to pursue philosophy. However, being also fond of mathematics, and in order to be able to earn a living, I also took up math. I studied these fields at the University of Amsterdam, focusing more and more on logic. I did so for a number of years, taking degrees in 1966 and 1972. In 1976 I married my wife, Tineke. Our daughter was born in 1977 and in 1990 we adopted a student from Somalia as our son. During the academic year 1987–88, I was a fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences and working on a joint project with the Canadian philosopher Douglas N. Walton. There we conducted research that ultimately led to a book on dialogue theory: Commitment in Dialogue: Basic Concepts of Interpersonal Reasoning (State University of New York Press, 1995). Since 1988 I have been an associate professor at the University of Groningen, teaching both philosophical and mathematical logic and theory of argumentation. In 1995 I was appointed full professor and named to a special chair for philosophical theory of argumentation. At present I am close to retirement, but hope for some more years to be supervising dissertations and to remain active in research and editing. No doubt, Union College has greatly contributed to my education, which has resulted in many happy years of teaching and research.


Claude Echard

I shall always be thankful to Union College for having given me a unique chance to make my dream of becoming a United Nations interpreter come true. Without learning the language and the culture with those who speak it, being an interpreter would have been impossible. At Union I studied government, sociology, Russian and several other humanities. I lived at the Sigma Phi fraternity and played on the soccer team. I enjoyed the Rathkeller’s nighttime activities and traveled around the country. About nine years after leaving Union, I was recruited by the United Nations, where I worked from 1970 until my retirement in 2000. The United Nations was an environment which was in harmony with the values I had learned at Union College. For 20 years my work took me to U.N. headquarters in places like New York City and Geneva. In the late 1980s, as the Cold War came to an end, I joined U.N. peacekeeping operations and went into the field as a political affairs officer, first to Namibia, then to El Salvador and finally to the former Yugoslavia. I live in Geneva with my wife. Our children have married (both born in Mount Kisco, N.Y.) and live nearby in Belgium. All this would have been totally different had it not been for the generosity and open-mindedness of some individuals at Union who greeted me, taught me, and introduced me to a world which seemed inaccessible.

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ReUnion 2008: It’s here; it’s now

Posted on May 27, 2008

ReUnion 2008 – man in red shirt

Dedications, tours, talks, receptions, theater, picnics, sports, fireworks and a whole lot of conviviality…. it’s ReUnion.

More than 1,000 visitors are expected on campus through Sunday for the annual celebration of Union’s graduates.

During the weekend, the College will honor geologist and former U.S. Congressman John S. Wold ’38, and his wife, Jane, who have directed $13 million of their $20 million gift for a multidisciplinary teaching and research center.

President Stephen C. Ainlay and the Board of Trustees invite all members of the campus community to the dedication of Breazzano Fitness Center at Alumni Gymnasium today, May 30, at 4:30 p.m. This event honors David J. Breazzano ’78, who made possible the new facility, on his 30th ReUnion. Breazzano, co-founder and principal of an investment firm, recently gave an additional $2 million to support the College’s main fitness facility.

Students work out in the fitness center

Also today, at 3:30 p.m., the College will honor outstanding engineering alumni at the Engineering Awards Reception at Beuth House.

A ceremony to present the Alumni Gold Medals, Faculty Meritorious Award, parade trophies and class gifts will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Memorial Chapel. The event will close with the traditional senior handshake between the Class of 2007 and the 50th ReUnion Class, immediately followed by a chimes concert.

Fireworks at Reunion

Also on tap are presentations by cartoonist and New Yorker nightlife editor John Donohue ’90; a talk on “Women, Money and Power” by Alissa Quinn ’84 of Smith Barney; a young alumni career panel on transitioning from college to work; a reception with poetry reading for "Pendulum Labyrinth," an installation in Jackson's Garden by D. Shayne Aldrich '98 and Tina Tacorian '01; and performances of William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” in the Yulman Theatre.

For a full schedule of ReUnion events, please visit: http://www.union.edu/ReUnion.


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Union students in the news

Posted on May 27, 2008

Union’s chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the national classics honor society, recently initiated 22 new members, who were recognized for their academic excellence in the study of the ancient Greek and Latin languages and the literature, culture, and history of antiquity. Eta Sigma Phi was founded in 1914 at the University of Chicago. Union’s faculty sponsor to the Eta Phi chapter of Eta Sigma Phi is Tarik Wareh.The students initiated were: Matthew Angelosanto ’11, Peter Bonventre ’11, Richard Caister ’09, Margaret Callahan ’09, Melissa Carey ’10, Huan Chen ’09, Andrew Churchill ’11, Shannon Davi ’08, Michael Glickman ’09, Paul Hebert ’10, Rachel Hogue ’11, Shauna Keeler ’09, Alexandra King ’11, Racheal Lalji, ’11, Peter MacDonald ’09, Victoria Mathieu ’11, Evan Place ’10, Sloane Sheldon ’11, David Stokes-Greene ’08, Rachel Torres ’10, Cassandra Walters ’11 and Michael Zanotta ’09.


Sigma Pi Sigma, Physics honor society inductees – From left to right, these students are: Paul Amy, Tom Perry, Chris Shultz, Steve Po-Chedley, Dana Lasher, Michael Gillin, Steven Cohen, Steve Herron, Anna Gaudette, Elliot Imler, Crystal Smith, Richard Bon

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has inducted nine Union students into Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society. New members include Paul Amy ’08, Steven Cohen ’08, Michael Gillin ’08, Dana Lasher ’08, Christian Shultz ’08, Crystal Smith ’08, Anna Gaudette ’09, David Ludwig ’09 and Steve Herron ’09. Sigma Pi Sigma honors outstanding scholarship in physics and encourages interest in physics among students at all levels.


Beth Solomon ’09, head Resident Advisor for Richmond House, has been accepted to attend STARS College of the Association of College and University Housing Officers –  International Conference and Exposition this summer. The highly selective program precedes the annual conference, in which top housing officers from around the country teach and mentor undergraduates interested in pursuing a career in student affairs and residence life.  


Micahel Stabinski 09

Michael Stabinski ’08 recently volunteered as a “guardian” on Patriot Flight 2008, a program, based in Troy, N.Y., that flies veterans free of charge to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II Memorial. A Political Science and Economics major, Stabinksi made the flight to honor his grandfather, John F. Kirby, who served as a ball turret gunner on the B-17s for 25 missions over Europe, and who passed away in March. Wearing a replica flight jacket like the one his grandfather wore on his missions, he assisted three veterans on the day-long trip. Stabinski is the son of Mary Beth and Richard Stabinski, of Facilities.

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Union faculty in the news

Posted on May 26, 2008

Assistant Professor of Visual Arts Lorraine Morales Cox presented “Painting Black & Brown Sexuality: The Body Portraits of David Antonio Cruz and Michalene Thomas” at “Race, Sex and Power: New Movements in Black and Latino Sexualities” at the University of Illinois at Chicago in April. Drawing on critical race, feminist and queer theory, Cox considers Cruz and Thomas’s portrait paintings in relation to sexuality and racial identity through the use of humor and satire.

Also in April, Cox gave a paper on “The Creative Provocations of a Transcultural Flâneur: The Art and Politics of Remy Jungerman,” at the annual conference of the National Association for Ethnic Studies, titled “The Politics of Ethnicity,” in Atlanta. In addition, Cox has been commissioned to write the exhibition catalogue essay for the Afro-Surinamese-Dutch artist’s upcoming Fritschy Prize exhibition at the Museum Het Domein in Sittard, Netherlands. Cox will travel to Sittard as an invited speaker for the exhibition’s June 27 opening.

Last week, Cox took part in “Critical Collage, Artistic Interventions and Technologies of the Self,” a roundtable discussion on “Technology and Collage/ Montage,” at the annual meeting of the Cultural Studies Association at New York University.

“Shakkei,” by Hilary Tann, the John Howard Payne Professor of Music, will be performed in the North/South Chamber Orchestra’s “Ethnic Echoes” program on June 10 at Christ & St. Stephen’s Church in New York City. The concert will feature works by three generations of American composers under the direction of orchestra conductor Max Lifchitz. English oboist Virginia Shaw will be the featured soloist in the U.S. premiere of “Shakkei.” A term used in Japanese landscape design, shakkei means “borrowed scenery.” Tann is scheduled to be on hand to introduce her work and speak with the audience.

“The Tlingit Encounter with Photography” by Professor and Chair of Anthropology Sharon Gmelch will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Museum Press this fall. Exploring early photographic imagery of the Tlingit Indians of Southeastern Alaska, the book compares the Tlingit photographs taken by surveyors, scientists, museum collectors, commercial photographers and tourists. It features 130 photos covering the period 1868 to 1929 and is based on extensive archival research and interviews with Tlingit elders. A traveling exhibit is also being planned.

George Gmelch, the Roger Thayer Stone Professor of Anthropology, recently had two articles published and four previously published articles reprinted in different anthologies. The new essays are “Bill Kirwin: Pioneering a Community of Baseball Scholars” in “Nine: The Journal of Baseball History and Culture,” and “The Changing Culture of Professional Baseball” in “Elysian Fields Quarterly.” The reprinted essays are “Nice Girls Don’t Talk to Rastas,” “Lessons from the Field,” “Baseball Magic” and “Coming Home: Return Migration to Barbados.”

Visiting Professor of Anthropology Derick Fay has co-edited “The Rights and Wrongs of Land Restitution: Restoring What Was Theirs.” The book is scheduled to be published by Routledge in July.

A paper by Associate Professor of Psychology Stephen Romero, titled “Electrophysiological Markers of Skill-related Neuroplasticity,” will be included in an upcoming edition of “Biological Psychology.” Co-authors are Tony Cacace of Albany Medical College; Dennis McFarland of the New York State Wadsworth labs; Lori Farrell ’04, who assisted as part of an independent study project; and AMC summer research student Rob Faust.  

"The Hoffleit Centennial: A Year of Celebration,” edited by Professor of Physics and Astronomy A. G. Davis Philip, Professor William F. van Altena of Yale and Professor of Physics and Astronomy Rebecca Koopmann, was published by L. Davis Press in April. The book contains articles by Koopmann et al. (“The ALFALFA Undergraduate Workshop Promoting Undergraduate Participation in a Legacy Survey Project”) and by Philip (“Eleven Years of the Shapley Visiting Lectureships Program”).

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