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Reach out to Minerva Fellows

Posted on Sep 23, 2010

Wonder what Union’s current Minerva Fellows are up to? Find out by reading – and responding to – their blogs.

“The Fellows love to hear from us on campus,” said Tom McEvoy, director of Minerva Programs. “Each Fellow has a blog, and all blogs allow you to post comments.”

Under the popular Minerva Fellows Program, now in its third year, eight members of the class of  2010 are working independently or with non-government organizations in various countries abroad. They help provide entrepreneurial solutions to social, economic and humanitarian hardships faced by local peoples. They’ll return to Union in the spring to share their experiences with the campus community.  

The Fellows, their organizations and their blog links are:   

Rachael Carson: Friends of Hue, Vietnam, http://rcarson-minerva.tumblr.com/

Allison Cuozzo: Yanapuma, Ecuador, http://allie-minerva.tumblr.com/

Jeremy Fritzhand: Block printing guild, India, http://www.wechangetheworldnow.com/

Elliot Harmon:  Engeye, Uganda, http://muse.union.edu/harmone/

Nikhil Kothari: Yanapuma, Ecuador, http://nikhil-ecuador.tumblr.com/

Kate Murphy: The Global Child, Cambodia, http://minervafellowsmurphy.tumblr.com/

Elizabeth Osborne: The Global Child, Cambodia, http://elizabethosborne.tumblr.com/

Sarah Yergeau: Engeye in Uganda, http://sarah-engeye.tumblr.com/

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Posted on Sep 23, 2010

What’s going on at Union? Find out at calendar.union.edu

You can view and search events by different categories; download events to your personal calendar or share them on Facebook and Twitter; and subscribe to categories of interest. Also view Athletics events, which feed automatically from the Athletics calendar.

Anyone can submit requests through the “Submit Events” link in the upper right corner. Please note that the calendar is for publicizing events that have already been set up; event organizers should continue to use the Central Scheduling system to book space and arrange food and supplies before publicizing their events. 

Questions? Review FAQs at www.union.edu/calendarfaqs, or e-mail calendar@union.edu.


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Grants roundup

Posted on Sep 23, 2010

A number of faculty members have received National Science Foundation and other competitive awards in recent months to support a range of research projects and field work. 

Karen Brison, professor and chair of the Anthropology Department, has received a National Science Foundation award for her project, “A Multi-Sited Ethnography of Global Pentecostal Networks: The View from Fiji,” to examine Fijian Pentecostals’ participation in global networks. Her research involves visiting missionaries in Tanzania and Kenya and working with Diaspora communities in the U.S. and Great Britain. A second focus will be on missionaries from African and Korean independent churches working in Fiji. Brison will use her research results in a course on Global Christianity. Funded through NSF’s Research at Undergraduate Institutions (RUI), the $74,992 grant complements Brison’s success last year in securing funding through USC’s Pentecostal Charismatic Research Initiative (PCRI) program.

Holli Frey, professor of geology, has received an NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) award of $95,850, effective Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2011, to support the acquisition of a Laser Ablation (LA) System for Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS). Also directing the project are professors John Garver and Kurt Hollocher. This award enables the Geology Department to acquire a CETAC LS-213 laser to enhance geochemistry capabilities and do in situ analyses of solid materials. 

Union’s participation in the NY NASA Space Grant consortia program continues this year, thanks to a $10,000 award made possible by a new five-year NASA grant to Cornell University. This funding, renewable each year, enables Rebecca Koopmann, associate professor of physics and astronomy and director of Union’s Space Grant, to support summer undergraduate research and outreach to local secondary schools and teachers. The program provides information, training and experience to a diverse group of students to help them make educated choices regarding their future in the STEM disciplines. 

Robert Olberg, the Florence B. Sherwood Professor of Life Sciences, has received a four-year grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to support his research project, “The Neuronal Control of Flying Prey Interception in Dragonflies.” The award of $317,344, effective through August 2014, will enable him to continue investigations into the dragonfly brain. Specifically, he will examine how visual information about the prey’s position and velocity are transformed into steering instructions, directing the dragonfly’s flight trajectory to a point of future intersection with the prey’s trajectory.

Donald Rodbell,
professor of geology and director of environmental studies, has received a three-year, $302,272 NSF grant through Research at Undergraduate Institutions. Effective Oct. 1, it will support his project with The Ohio State University, titled “Collaborative Research: RUI: Tropical Holocene Climatic Insights from Andean Paleoglacier Dynamics.” This collaborative effort was approved by NSF’s Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change (P2C2) program. It gives Rodbell and student research assistants the opportunity to travel to Lima, Peru to conduct field work that will substantially improve understanding of the link between alpine glacial variability, water resources and mass and energy fluxes in the tropical “heat engine” of the planet.

Rebecca Surman
, associate professor of physics, has received a renewal grant from the Department of Energy of $99,000 over three years to support continued research through her project, “Neutrinos and Nucleosynthesis in Gamma Ray Bursts.” The project involves Union students, who will work through the summer months as research assistants. DOE has sponsored this research since 2005.

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Food for thought: City restaurants to feed hungry minds tonight

Posted on Sep 21, 2010

To help celebrate autumn and to give people a taste of downtown dining, a number of the city’s restaurants will offer free food to the campus community during “Fall for Schenectady” this evening, Thursday, Sept. 23.

Chez Daisie

From 5 to 7 p.m., each restaurant will serve their fare in one of the seven Minerva Houses. Some establishments will also offer cooking demonstrations. The participating restaurants are Aperitivo Bistro, Bombers Burrito Bar, Cafe Nola, Chez Daisie Creperie, Homestyle Pizza, Mr. Wasabi and Taj Mahal.

In addition, dessert prepared by Villa Italia will be available in the gardens at the President’s House. The bakery recently garnered attention for making a high school graduation cake resembling the Nott Memorial. The cake was for Caitlyn Collins, now a member of the Class of 2014.

Tonight's event, sponsored by the Minerva Houses and the Union-Schenectady Alliance, follows last spring’s wildly popular “Sample Schenectady,” when hundreds of campus members took part.

“We are trying to highlight the number of places to eat downtown and to get students and others to venture off campus and try these places on their own,” said Randy Miller ’12. “It’s great for the businesses, too. They get to show the campus community what they have to offer.”

To encourage people to visit each Minerva, diners can get a special “passport” stamped as they travel between houses, with prizes being offered to some.

“If this is a hit, we’ll do it again in the spring,” Miller said.

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Atrium show unifies arts colony’s artists

Posted on Sep 21, 2010

Mortise Collars Tenon at the Atrium

A reception and gallery talk for “Mortise Collars Tenon,” the Atrium Gallery’s newest exhibit, will be held at 5 p.m. today in the Visual Arts Building. Ben Hillis, curator of the exhibition and associate director of Salem Art Works (SAW), will speak.

The show features diverse work from established and emerging regional artists with a personal connection to the Salem Art Works grounds. Showcased pieces were created as a direct response to SAW’s Barn II Gallery, as well as the physical and metaphysical relationships the artists have with the arts colony, located in Salem, N.Y.

Featured artists are David Bender, Colin Boyd, Patrick Healy, Sanford Mirling, Claire Sherwood, Julie Ward and Zac Ward.

The exhibit and related events, including an interactive traveling installation called "Porch Pieces" created by British artist Bryony Graham, are free and open to the public.  

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