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College hosts Physical Constants Workshop for local high schools

Posted on Jan 26, 2009

Physical Constants Workshop, Dec. 08, physics outreach, Prof. Mike Vineyard

The Department of Physics and Astronomy recently held the first Union College Physical Constants Workshop for high school physics teachers and students.

Working in teams, seven teachers and 17 students from regional high schools performed experiments to measure fundamental physical constants and gain experience with such modern instrumentation and laboratory techniques as high-resolution video analysis, scattering experiments with a particle accelerator and scanning electron microscopy.

Five of the teachers and 15 of the students were from Capital District schools, including Guilderland, Mohonasen, Clayton A. Bouton in Voorheesville, Saratoga Springs and Christian Brothers Academy. The two other teachers, Justin King ’06 and Nicole Sabbatino ’06, were from schools on Long Island, as were the two other students.

During the workshop, seven Union faculty members from the Department of Physics and Astronomy guided the high school group in performing experiments. Faculty members were assisted by two current Union students, Brandon Bartell ’10 and Tom Perry ’09.

“We want to stimulate students to study physics and pursue careers in science and provide teachers with an exciting and enriching professional development experience,” said Physics Professor Michael Vineyard. “We also want to establish a network through which our department can support local high school physics education.”

Each high school participant received a T-shirt and a notebook containing the workshop materials. The teachers also received professional development certificates.  

The workshop was supported in part by an Outreach Grant from the New York State Section of the American Physical Society. For more information, click here.

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Posted on Jan 26, 2009

Thursday, Jan. 29, 4:30 p.m. / Reamer Campus Center Auditorium / Lecture: “Mexican Art Today: Enrique Chagoya and Nahum Zenil” by Guisela Latore, assistant professor at The Ohio State University; part of a series of events connected with the Mandeville Gallery’s “Parabolas Mexicanas – Paintings, Prints and Drawings by Bernardo González and Francisco Verástegui”

Thursday, Jan. 29, 5-7 p.m. / Breazzano House / Sigma Delta Tau wine and cheese ge-together with faculty and staff; administrators

Josh Tobiessen, playwright

Thursday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. / Yulman Theater / Departments of English, and Theater and Dance present a staged reading of Schenectady native Josh Tobiessen’s “Election Day,” a romp through the wild world of eccentric environmentalists, yuppies and a mayoral candidate who will do anything for a vote. Directed by Prof. William Finlay, with Q & A and reception to follow. Called “an outrageous comedy” by the New York Times, the play is included in the collection, “New Playwrights, the Best Plays of 2008” (Smith and Kraus) and is also published separately by Samuel French Publishers. Tobiessen is the son of Peter Tobiessen, professor of biology emeritus, and Joanne Tobiessen, retired director of Becker Career Center. 

Thursday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. / Iris House / Speaker from Lambda Legal, LGBTQ advocacy group, on marriage, civil unions and other legal issues facing the LGBTQ community

Friday, Jan. 30, 6 p.m. / Viniar Athletic Center / Women’s basketball vs. Vassar

Friday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m. / Messa Rink at Achilles Center / Women’s hockey vs. Harvard (ECAC contest)

Friday, Jan. 30- Feb. 2, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. / Reamer Campus Center Auditorium / Film: “Role Models” 

Friday, Jan. 30, 8 p.m. / Viniar Athletic Center / Men’s basketball vs. Vassar

Friday, Jan. 30, 2 p.m. / Women’s basketball vs. RPI

Friday, Jan. 30, 4 p.m. / Men’s basketball vs. RPI

Saturday, Jan. 31, 4 p.m. / Messa Rink at Achilles Center / Women’s hockey vs. Dartmouth (ECAC contest)

Sunday, Feb. 1, 3 p.m. / Memorial Chapel / Chamber Concert Series presents: Emerson String Quartet

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 6 p.m. / Viniar Athletic Center / Women’s basketball vs. Skidmore

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 8 p.m. / Viniar Athletic Center / Men’s basketball vs. Skidmore

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m. / Reamer Campus Center Auditorium / Parabolas Mexicanas Film Series presents: “Batalla en el Cielo.” Co-sponsored by the Mandeville Gallery, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the departments of History and Modern Languages and Literatures.

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m. / Nott Memorial / 2009 Environmental Science, Policy and Engineering Winter Seminar Series presents: “From Silent Spring to Silent Night,” presentation by Tyrone Hayes, integrative biologist, of the University of California, Berkeley, whose research focuses on the role of steroid hormones in amphibian development

Thursday, Feb. 5, 4:30-6:30 p.m. / Schaffer Library, Phi Beta Kappa Room / Philosophy Speaker Series presents: Louis Loeb, University of Michigan on “Locke and British Empiricism”

Florence Piano Trio at Emerson Hall, Feb 2008

Thursday, Feb 5, 7:30 p.m. / Taylor Music Center, Fred L. Emerson Foundation Auditorium / Department of Music presents: A Trio of Trios, Florence Piano Trio with Sarah Briggs Cornelius, violin; Volcy Pelletier, cello; Monica Jakuc Leverett, piano in program of Haydn, Tann, Turina, Brahms; free and open to the public

Friday, Feb. 6 – Monday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. / Reamer Campus Center Auditorium / Film: “Changeling” 

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2 p.m. / Alumni Gymnasium Pool / Women’s and men’s swimming vs. Ithaca

Saturday, Feb. 7, 7 p.m. / Messa Rink at Achilles Center / Men’s hockey vs. RPI (ECAC contest)

Saturday, Feb. 7, 8 p.m.- midnight / College Park Hall / Winter Ball, featuring music, food, dancing, entertainment and raffles; proceeds support the Diana Legacy Fund for Hospice Care in sub-Saharan Africa.   

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Emerson String Quartet to play 26th show at Union

Posted on Jan 26, 2009

The famed Emerson String Quartet will give its 26th Chamber Concert Series performance Sunday, Feb. 1.

The show,  which begins at 3 p.m. in Memorial Chapel, is free for the Union College community. General admission tickets cost $25, though area students can attend for $10.

Emerson String Quartet features violinist Eugene Drucker, violinist Philip Setzer, cellist David Finckel and violist Lawrence Dutton. During their upcoming performance, the musicians will play Dvorak’s “Cypresses.” Haydn’s Op. 74, No. 1 in C, No. 2 in F, and No. 3 in G minor will also be presented.

The Emerson String Quartet featuring Lawrence Dutton, viola; Eugene Drucker, violin; Philip Setzer, violin; and David Finckel, cello, return for an unprecedented 25th Concert Series performance of “All-Brahms Part II” Sunday, April 27, 2008 at 3 p.m. in M

Formed in 1976, Emerson String Quartet has been touring, recording and performing for 32 years. The musicians have achieved unparalleled recognition with 30 acclaimed recordings produced with Deutsche Grammophon, and eight Grammy awards. Named after American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, the quartet has also captured three Gramophone awards and the coveted Avery Fisher Prize.

The group’s current season includes more than 80 engagements around the world, from Boston and San Francisco to Italy and Denmark. In 2002, Emerson String Quartet joined Stony Brook University as the quartet-in-residence, giving master classes and providing instrumental instruction. In 2004, 2006 and 2008, the musicians conducted International Chamber Music Workshops at the university.

The group, which received an honorary doctorate from Wooster College in 2006, will receive an honorary doctorate from Bard College in May.

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Posted on Jan 22, 2009


Huddled for Obama

Union group at Obama inauguration




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Paul Volcker, top economist, tapped for Commencement

Posted on Jan 22, 2009


Paul A. Volcker Commencement speaker 2009

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker, described by President Barack Obama as “one of the world’s foremost economic policy experts,” will be the featured speaker at Union’s 215th Commencement on Sunday, June 14 and will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from the College.

Volcker, 81, recently was picked by Obama to lead a new economic recovery advisory panel to help the administration deal with the ongoing financial crisis.

Volcker was appointed chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 and reappointed in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, serving until 1987. He is widely credited with reining in high inflation in the 1980s with a series of courageous, if sometimes unpopular tactics, including raising interest rates.

Since leaving the Fed, Volcker has served as chairman of Wolfensohn and Co., a New York City corporate advisory and investment firm; head of a committee reviewing dormant Swiss bank accounts of Nazi victims; chairman of the board of the International Accounting Standards Committee; and chair of the Independent Inquiry into the United Nations Oil for Food Program. In 2007, he was asked by the president of the World Bank to lead a review panel on operations of the Department of Institutional Integrity.

Educated at Princeton, Harvard and the London School of Economics, Volcker is professor emeritus of International Economic Policy at Princeton.

“We are extremely fortunate and honored to have someone of Paul Volcker’s stature as our Commencement speaker,” said President Stephen C. Ainlay. “His remarkable achievements and work as a tireless public servant will serve as an inspiration to our new graduates."

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