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Posted on Sep 30, 2010

Assistant Professor of Political Science  Brad Hays recently was a guest on “Vox Pop” on WAMC, Northeast Public Radio. He addressed campaign politics and the Tea Party factor. To listen, click here

Paul Matarazzo,
Facilities capital projects administrator, recently graduated from the APPA Facilities Management Institute in Scottsdale, Ariz. He completed four separate tracks of study at different Institute locations, including General Administration and Management, Operations and Maintenance, Planning, Design and Construction, and Energy and Utilities. APPA is dedicated to leadership in Educational Facilities.

Kara Jefts, exhibitions assistant at the Mandeville Gallery, recently curated “Parade of Demons,” in Troy, N.Y. The exhibition explored and defined the various perceptions of “monster” across cultures and traditions. With a title and theme drawn from popular Japanese folklore (“The Night Procession of a Hundred Demons”), the show featured five American artists working in a variety of mediums – painting, photography, prints and sculpture – to create otherworldly creatures that entertain, frighten and delight. 

Jeffrey Corbin,
assistant professor of biology, and Natalie Koncki ’10 attended the Soil and Water Conservation Society meetings in St. Louis in July. Corbin spoke at an invited symposium on the topic of effects of invasive species on ecosystem services such as water, soil nutrients and biodiversity. Koncki presented an oral paper detailing her senior thesis research on the ecological impacts of forest biofuels. Currently pursuing a master’s degree at Hofstra University, Koncki is studying the future range of plants on Long Island under various climate change scenarios. Corbin also recently published two papers, in Plant Ecology and Oikos, on the interactions between native and non-native plants in California grasslands.

A letter by Kyle Abrahamson ’11, Marc Nash ’11 and Katie McLean ’11, students in last winter’s Soft Tissue Mechanics class with Ashok Ramasubramanian, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, has been published in the Journal of Biomechanics. The letter is a response to an article the class read that contained several errors. To read the full letter, click here.  

Lori Marso,
professor of political science and director of Women’s and Gender Studies, is the guest editor of “A Symposium on the Political Thought of H. Mark Roelofs” in the September issue of New Political Science: A Journal of Politics and Culture. In the same issue, she also contributed an essay titled “H. Mark Roelofs: Prophecy, Existentialism and Transformation.” Last week, Marso presented a paper, titled “Risky Judgments in Dark Times: The Eichmann and Brasillach Trials,” at the University at Albany Political Theory workshop. She delivered the paper at the American Political Science Association meetings in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. It is part of a book manuscript she is preparing, “Simone de Beauvoir: Politics in Situation.”

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Sign up now for LGBTQ Ally training

Posted on Sep 29, 2010

 This term’s LGBTQ Ally training will be held Monday, Oct.  4, 5–6:30 p.m. Those interested in attending should e-mail Assistant Director of Student Activities Kerrie Wolf (wolfk@union.edu) or Director of the Counseling Center Marcus Hotaling (hotalinm@union.edu) by today, Thursday, Sept. 30.

The training is open to faculty, administrators and staff.

The Ally program helps provide safe spaces for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning community by identifying individuals who will offer support and information The program is designed to increase levels of tolerance and acceptance on the Union campus.

Visit http://www.union.edu/lgbtallies to learn more. 

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‘Critical Stitch’ weaves messages through range of mediums

Posted on Sep 29, 2010

Bassett – Critical Stitch

Needlepoint pillows with still images of JFK’s assassination.  

Fabric sculptures of slaughtered beef.

Infant clothing knitted of fibers from bullet proof vests.  

These incongruent juxtapositions are part of “Critical Stitch,” which opens Thursday, Oct. 7 at the Mandeville Gallery in the Nott Memorial.

This major new show brings together 12 contemporary artists who incorporate sewing, embroidery, knitting and other related forms in their work, connecting these materials and techniques to a range of hotly debated subjects, from militarization to consumerism.  

“These artists demonstrate that meaningful and critical content can be expressed through a variety of forms, and in doing so, they disable any lingering assumptions or stereotypes associated with the term ‘craft,’” said Lorraine Morales Cox, professor of art history and the show’s curator.

Cole – Critical Stitch

"They strategically and poetically use metaphor, humor and satire in ways that provoke us to consider important issues of the day.”

For instance, those needlepoint JFK pillows, by San Francisco artist Richard Bassett, turn us toward the subject of nostalgia and traumatic memory.

The slaughtered beef sculptures, by Argentinean artist Tamara Kostianovsky, stir debates surrounding the consumption of meat and the inhumane treatment of animals.

And the series of infant and toddler clothes made of Kevlar from the Gulf War by Providence R.I. sculptor Dave Cole raises questions about safety, service and the disasters of war.

The show also features work by Margarita Cabrera, Rob Conger, Lauren DiCioccio, Barb Hunt, Mark Newport, Laurel Roth, Alicia Ross, Vadis Turner and Johanna Unzueta.

A gallery talk and opening reception will be held Thursday, Oct. 7, 5-7 p.m. with Hunt and Unzueta. A panel discussion with Newport, DiCioccio and Cabrera and art history scholar Elissa Auther is set for Thursday, Oct. 21, 4-5:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Kostia.. Critical Stitch

“Critical Stitch” runs through Dec. 19.     

The exhibition and programming are supported by a Union College Internal Education Grant; the American Studies, and Women and Gender Studies programs; the departments of English, History, Political Science and Visual Arts; the offices of Campus Diversity, the Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies and Special Programs, and the Dean of Studies; and UNITAS.

Cox is exploring ways to integrate the exhibition into classroom discussions of everything from environmental issues to industrialization, immigration, gender and sexuality. She can arrange private group tours of the show for faculty members before a class visit. 

Contact her at coxl@union.edu.   

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First weeks can be tough for college kids

Posted on Sep 28, 2010

Counseling Center Director Marcus Hotaling was recently mentioned in a parenting column in USA Today.

Hotaling is the mental health chair of the American College Health Association. He joined Union in fall 2007.

To read the column, click here.


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NSF grant to help create Center for Neuroscience

Posted on Sep 27, 2010

Union’s growing neuroscience program will soon have a new home, thanks to a $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Butterfield Hall Center for Neuroscience

The grant, awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will help create the Center for Neuroscience on the third floor of Butterfield Hall. The center will include five research laboratories, several support and research training areas, and a space for faculty.

The center will help support research and training in areas of neuroplasticity; human cognitive abilities and behavioral dispositions; sex differences in spatial cognition; cognitive genetics; neural control of behavior; and basic molecular mechanisms underlying pediatric neurological disorders.

“This project will serve the growing cutting edge interdisciplinary neuroscience and bioengineering programs at Union, especially because these link science and engineering, which is a central strategic goal of the College,” said Stephen Romero, associate professor of psychology and the project’s lead investigator.

Other faculty members involved in the project include Robert Olberg, the Florence B. Sherwood Professor of Life Sciences, Quynh Chu-LaGraff, associate professor of biology and Christopher Chabris, assistant professor of psychology.

The neuroscience program is currently spread among three buildings on campus. The renovations to Butterfield will bring together core faculty from biology, psychology and bioengineering to interact more freely and provide additional research opportunities for faculty and students. The first two floors of Butterfield were renovated to create the Center for Bioengineering and Computational Biology, which opened in winter 2007.

“Positioning research labs adjacent to teaching space offers the additional benefit of allowing the teaching lab to be used for student and faculty research during times when classes are not in session,” said Romero. “And including space for student interaction will help facilitate the kind of interdisciplinary discourse that characterizes intellectual life at Union and is important for training the next generation of researchers.”

Renovations are expected to begin early next year and be completed in the fall.

“This center will enrich interdisciplinary academic inquiry in engineering and the sciences and further strengthen Union’s liberal arts tradition,” Romero said.

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