Nucleus Volume 9 Summer 2018

Page 1


A Faculty Commons Quarterly Volume 9

Summer 2018


Volume 9 | Summer 2018


N EW YOR K CIT Y COLLEGE OF T ECH NOLOG Y of the City University of New York

Faculty Commons

Russell K. Hotzler President

A Center for Teaching, Learning, Scholarship and Service Julia Jordan, Director Arianna Bollers, College Assistant Philip Zeng, College Assistant

Bonne August Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Miguel Cairol Vice President for Administration and Finance

Assessment and Institutional Research Tammie Cumming, Director Yimi Zhao, Assistant Director Isana Leshchinskaya, Research Associate Yunxia Wei, RF Technician Johnathan Liu, Research Associate

Michel A. Hodge Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs Gilen Chan Special Counsel/Legal Affairs Designee Stephen M. Soiffer Special Assistant to the President/ Institutional Advancement

Office of Sponsored Programs Barbara Burke, Director Patty Barba Gorkhover, Associate Director Eleanor Bergonzo, Assistant Director

Pamela Brown Associate Provost

Grants Outreach Coordinators 2017-2018 Professor Geoff Zylstra

Justin Vazquez-Poritz Dean, School of Arts and Sciences

US Department of Education Title V Opening Gateways Charlie Edwards, Co-Director

Kevin Hom Dean, School of Technology and Design

Design Team Professor Anita Giraldo, Artistic Director Kevin Rajaram, Web Master Julie Bradford, William Luperena Erin Mayoyo, Marlon Palmer Ashley Valera, Lu Xue, Designers

David Smith Dean, School of Professional Studies Carol Sonnenblick Dean, Division of Continuing Education

Curator Professor Sandra Cheng

Professional Development Advisory Council (PDAC) Lubie Alatriste Daniel Alter Esteban Beita Nadia Benakli Marianna Bonanome Karen Bonsignore Juanita But


Candido Cabo Gwen Cohen-Brown Susan Davide Rebecca Mazumdar Lynda Dias Mary Sue Donsky Aida Egues


Boris Gelman Pa Her Louise Hoffman Paul King Darya Krym Janet Liou-Mark Karen Lundstrem

Volume 9 | Summer 2018

Zory Marantz John McCullough Djafar Mynbaev Tony Nicolas Susan Phillip Marcia Powell Estela Rojas

Rebecca Shapiro Kimberly Strickler Ryoya Terao Shauna Vey

Pamela Brown, Chair


Summer 2018

05 15

Aspirational Yet Achievable Bonne August

Creative Arts Showcase

06 16

Year of Undergraduate Research

Pamela Brown

Scholars Exchange


A Spark of Motivation Reginald Blake

09 18

Big Data at City Tech

Eugenia G. Giannopoulou

Behind The Scenes

Sandra Cheng, Anita Giraldo

12 20

Why This Place

Karen Goodlad, Anne Leonard

Elmer: The Patchwork Elephant Show Suzanne Miller

E d itor s, Ba rba ra Bu rk e and Juli a Jo rd an | D e si g ner, Ma rlon Palme r | Pr i nt i n g , D ig ital Im ag ing C e nte r at C it y Te ch NUCLEUS: A FACULTY COMMONS QUARTERLY

Volume 9 | Summer 2018


New York City College of Technology is a baccalaureate and associate degree-granting institution committed to providing broad access to high quality technological and professional education for a diverse urban population. City Tech’s distinctive emphasis on applied skills and place-based learning built upon a vibrant general education foundation equips students with both problem-solving skills and an understanding of the social contexts of technology that make its graduates competitive. A multi-disciplinary approach and creative collaboration are hallmarks of the academic programs. As a community City Tech nurtures an atmosphere of inclusion, respect, and openmindedness in which all members can flourish. New York City College of Technology’s Mission Statement



Volume 9 | Summer 2018

Aspirational Yet Achievable Bonne August


his issue of Nucleus explores and exemplifies City Tech’s mission, a theme both timely and important. In this 2018-2019 academic year, City Tech reached two important milestones. In the Fall Semester, for the first time enrollment in baccalaureate programs exceeded that of associate programs. This spring, after over two years of intensive preparation, the college hosted its decennial visit from a Middle States evaluation team and received reaccreditation with many commendations. It is important to note that the self-study we prepared for the visiting team made strong recommendations regarding areas needing improvement, especially student retention and graduation. Nevertheless, the team affirmed the directions we have taken over the past ten years and expressed confidence in our ability to address our institutional weaknesses and continue to thrive. What does Middle States look for in this review? At the heart of both the self-study and the visit is the question: Does the institution fulfill its mission? How well, and how do we know? From its founding, City Tech has been directed by an enduring mission: to provide high-quality career preparation grounded in a strong liberal arts general education to a diverse urban population. That goal has continued to guide the college for over 70 years; however, recognizing changing contexts and opportunities, about every ten years the college community has come together to consider and adopt an updated statement of the mission. The current mission statement, adopted by College Council last year, was the culmination of a process that had begun nearly five years ago by the Strategic Planning Committee convened following the Middle States five-year Periodic Review. A mission statement cannot include everything that is important about a college or university, but the mission and goals must guide decision-making at the institution. The team’s statement about how City Tech fulfills its mission was unequivocal:

The College is to be commended for its approach to its mission – while the mission statement was revised recently to reflect updated language, the core mission of the college has remained the same for many years. In interviews with faculty, staff, students, and administration, it became very clear to the team the mission of the college drives every activity of the college and is widely embraced by the community. I cannot imagine a more ringing endorsement of what we do together at City Tech. After two years of reflection and analysis to prepare for reaccreditation, we now turn to look ahead, toward a new round of strategic planning and with a glistening new building to signal our institutional aspirations. As we look forward to the next eight years, it will be essential for us as a community to continue to examine how and how well we fulfill our mission. The entire text of the newest restatement of the college’s enduring mission, aspirational yet achievable, is printed on the opposite page. As a first step toward City Tech’s next stage of development, I invite you to join me in deconstructing the mission statement to reflect on its essential elements: Committed • Broad access • High-quality •

Technological • Professional • Diverse population • Place-based • Applied skills • Vibrant general

education foundation • Problem-solving • Contexts of technology • Multi-disciplinary • Creative

collaboration • Community • Inclusion, Respect, Open-mindedness • All members can flourish.


Volume 9 | Summer 2018


The Year of Undergraduate Research at City Tech Pamela Brown


aniel McCloskey, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor and University Vice-Provost for Research recently attended City Tech’s Undergraduate Research Committee meeting, the Spring 2018 Honors and Undergraduate Research Scholars poster session and delivered greetings at the awards ceremony. Afterward he remarked that he has “…yet to see a campus anywhere that has such a well-organized system for fostering undergraduate research opportunities.” This sincere praise is due to the commitment and hard work of the Director of Undergraduate Research, Professor Hamid Norouzi, the Undergraduate Research Committee (URC), under the leadership of Professor Reginald Blake, the Honors Scholars Program, under the leadership of Professors Janet Liou-Mark and Reneta Lansiquot, dedicated and creative faculty mentors, college leadership, and the generosity of the City Tech Foundation, which has taken over support of the Emerging Scholars Program. Opportunities for getting involved abound. Students may receive stipends through CUNY Research Scholars Program (CRSP), Emerging Scholars Program (ESP), the National Institute of Health Bridges to the Baccalaureate (NIH BTB), the renewed National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NSF LSAMP) grant, the City Tech’s National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF REU) grant, CSTEP’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program (CSTEP students only) and the Black Male Initiative (BMI). Students can conduct research in a class and receive honors credit through the Honors Scholars Program. Students and faculty can make a connection by attending a Research Mixer or through the Faculty Mentors Brochure, a list of active faculty mentors. There are monthly workshops and events, and web postings throughout the year to enhance



Volume 9 | Summer 2018

students’ research skills and celebrate the accomplishments in research at the college. The Undergraduate Research Committee has designated 2018-2019 as the Year of Undergraduate Research. Highlights will include an Undergraduate STEM Poster Session and Graduate School Fair, as part of the 13th Annual Black Male Initiative Conference, which City Tech is hosting October 5, 2018. Additionally, the college is hosting the CUNYwide CUE Conference in May 2019, with the theme of student learning, where faculty and others will have the opportunity to share their work on the subject of undergraduate research. Professor Hamid Norouzi commented: Scientific research is my passion, and I love to share it with others. I strongly believe that learning through experiencing, discovering, inventing, and designing are the most sustainable approaches for higher education. It is almost impossible to unlearn such knowledge and education. While gaining deep knowledge in a particular subject is the direct benefit of undergraduate research, there are many more advantages such as enhancing critical thinking, creativity, problem solving and intellectual independence. One of the main differences between secondary schools and universities is that universities are vibrant academic environments. In such an environment, the goal is not just to learn what professors already know, but rather to advance their knowledge to a higher level. I hope every City Tech student can experience undergraduate research for at least one year during his/her education. It will have a lasting effect on students’ careers and education. Concerning his hopes for the future of undergraduate research at City Tech, Professor Reginald Blake remarked: My hope is that the culture at City Tech will continue its steadfast transformation toward

one that embodies a profound realization of the symbiotic relationship between undergraduate research and our students’ academic success and their professional progress. While the 21st century is still in its infancy, our students ought to be guided towards—and provided with—opportunities to engage in grand societal challenges that are integrated with general education and interdisciplinary research themes. Doing so will strengthen their core/central competencies, broaden their intellectual curiosity, and deepen their commitment for disciplinary and societal advancement. For faculty, undergraduate research must be holistically celebrated in the milieu of an environment that creates, fosters, and sustains a tension-free balance between teaching and research. Increasingly, faculty need to realize that now research is indeed the air that teaching breathes. When faculty embrace this realization, they will naturally spur, inspire, and move their students to an expectation of becoming engaged in research experiences and discoveries that demand ingenuity, innovation, and industry. To undergird this vision, faculty must become more involved in pursuing grants that will provide funding for research scholarships and internships. These will become the foundation on which undergraduate research will be predicated and sustained. City Tech would then realize its aspiration to prepare its graduates “embrace change, and engage in interdisciplinary and interprofessional inquiry and problem solving.”[1] One critical foundational layer of the college’s vision must, therefore, be transformational undergraduate research experiences and the multi-faceted broader impacts that they bring.

One such example is Francois Mertil, a City Tech 2017 graduate in Telecommunications Engineering Technology who completed his Master’s degree at Cornell University in Electrical Engineering this past June 2018 and will be continuing his doctorate this fall at Carnegie Mellon University. He attributed his success to his undergraduate research experience, where he participated in both NSF LSAMP and NSF REU: “The NSF REU experience provided me with the critical intellectual challenge and research and communication skills necessary to thrive in my Master’s design project, and I am grateful for this training as an undergraduate.” To learn more and get involved visit our undergraduate research websites: undergraduateresearch/for-faculty-mentors/ or contact undergraduateresearch@citytech. You will be happy you did!

Professor Janet Liou-Mark added: For students interested in applying to graduate school, having some prior research experience will be an advantage when submitting their graduate school applications. The experience of completing an undergraduate research project will show that our students are capable of thinking scientifically and creatively, transferring their knowledge, communicating effectively, and committing themselves to challenging work; skills that are essential for succeeding in graduate studies.



Volume 9 | Summer 2018


Transmitting a Spark of Motivation, One Mentee at a Time Reginald Blake


s a young boy in a large family growing up in Jamaica, my interest in science was triggered by the arrival of a powerful hurricane on our island. My teachers saw my curiosity and helped me to learn everything I could about weather. I went on to study meteorology at the City College of New York where I was mentored by an extraordinary scientist, Dr. Winfield Sylvester. The receipt of this Presidential Mentoring Award brings my life full circle.

My life’s work has been to help young people to discover the marvels of the natural world through the study of STEM and to enable institutions that serve them to develop the capacity to support their success. For more than ten years I have led a CUNY-funded Black Male Initiative open to all City Tech students who are enrolled in STEM programs. As a result of this and related efforts, City Tech now ranks sixth nationally in the production of Black/African American associate degree recipients in STEM, 18th nationally in the production of Asian recipients, and 21st in the production of male recipients, according to NSF.

The essence of mentoring is the transmission of a spark of motivation from one person to another, whether by articulating the urgency of mentoring to the next generation of STEM professionals through creating a vibrant and sustainable culture of mentoring at a minority serving institution, or using informal science education venues to convey the excitement of STEM learning at the community level. This PAESMEM award amplifies my voice in summoning my professional peers across the nation to fulfill their civic responsibility to cultivate the next generation of STEM talent, one mentee at a time.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF), on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, is the highest honor bestowed upon mentors who work to expand talent in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Among the 41 individuals and organizations receiving a PAESMEM is Reginald Blake, Professor of Physics at City Tech. 8


Volume 9 | Summer 2018

“…high quality technological and professional education for a diverse urban population.”

Big Data at City Tech Eugenia G. Giannopoulou


s the era of “Big Data” dawns on biomedical research, multiple types of biomedical data are being generated on an unprecedented scale with high volume, variety, and velocity, challenging our current abilities for data representation, visualization, integration, storage, and analysis. In the future, it will be increasingly common for everyone to have their genomic data as part of their electronic health records (EHRs), and we can expect streams of data from sensors and social networks to become increasingly relevant in patient care. As these dramatic transformations in biomedical and life sciences continue, the bottleneck in scientific productivity is shifting from data production to data management, sharing, processing, and interpretation. The considerable challenges of big data demand education and hands-on training that are currently insufficient. A 2012 report from the NIH recognized that the greatest challenge to leveraging the significant potentials of big data will be in educating and recruiting future computational data scientists with the background and experience to exploit big data opportunities. Equally importantly, recent data from the National Science Foundation (NSF) show that big data training programs across the U.S. lack diversity. In 2017, we were awarded a 4-year long NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) R25 grant called City Tech-WCM Big Data Training Program in Biomedical Informatics (BD2BMI). BD2BMI offers year-long paid educational and research training opportunities to students enrolled in the Biomedical Informatics baccalaureate program (BIB) at CityTech college, in a mission to prepare the next generation of innovators and visionaries in the field of biomedical Big Data science. In BD2BMI, our College joined forces

The project, City Tech/Weill Cornell Medicine Big Data Program in Biomedical Informatics, is funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of NIH. with Weill Cornell Medicine, the medical college of Cornell University to train BIB undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds in Biomedical Big Data sciences. Every year, through BD2BMI we accept 8 undergraduate BIB CityTech students, and offer several activities, such as a summer research internship (will satisfy the MED3910 internship course) and technical training sessions on UNIX, R, SQL and Python. We also support the students’ participation in conferences and symposia. All students are compensated for their participation, thus giving them an additional incentive to stay focused on the program’s demands. Already in the first year of the program, our students have attended an international IEEE conference (ICHI 2018) and are ready to begin their internships at Cornell. Interstingly, all students mentioned it was their first time attending a conference and were all


Volume 9 | Summer 2018


Data from our colleagues and students through the great attendance these lectures achieved. Along the same lines, the first week-long Biomedical Big Data summer boot camp (held on June 18th–22nd) is a by registrationonly event that introduces participants to fundamental concepts of Big Data focusing on data warehouses and online analytical processing, the increasing role of big data in health care and its challenges, the use of health information technology and the highthroughput computational approaches for biomedical research and patient care. The event reached its maximum capacity on the second day of advertisement we performed, mainly targeting faculty from CUNY colleges. Our goal through the summer boot camp and the invited lectures is to establish educational opportunities in big data science for faculty who would then be able to incorporate big data methods and applications in biomedical sciences.

excited to be part of the scientific community discussing advances in healthcare. A series of professional development activities we organized specifically for the BD2BMI students cohort, with the help of the Professional Development Center (PDC) here at CityTech, were also “extremely helpful and spot-on” according to the students’ feedback who gained tips about communication, networking, etiquette, and more. Training opportunities in Big Data for faculty is also a priority for us. In Spring 2018, we organized two invited lectures at the College (March 15th event/invited-lecture-tba/, May 17th http:// bigdata.c it ytec h.c u nv itedle c t u r e -h e a lt h -i n for m at ion -t e c h nolog yto-improve-physician-decisions/), open to students and faculty from all departments. We were excited to see the growing interest in Big 10


Volume 9 | Summer 2018

BD2BMI is one of the few examples of innovative collaborations between New York City academic institutions aiming at offering educational and research training opportunities for underrepresented students in biomedical data science and cultivating new interdisciplinary research collaborations between faculty. Year 2 registration opens in Fall 2019 (November) and BIB students will be notified in early January. Training activities will begin in Spring 2019 and will last until Fall 2020 (including an internship project at Weill Cornell Medicine). My personal goal as PI of the program is to continue recruiting intelligent individuals from diverse underrepresented backgrounds as BD2BMI trainees, and provide them with the necessary skills, as well as opportunities, to further their career in biomedical data sciences.



Volume 9 | Summer 2018


“…place-based learning built upon a vibrant general education…”

Why This Place?

Experience. Reflect. Think. Act.1 Karen Goodlad, Anne Leonard


ity Tech faculty engage students in place-based learning (PBL) invoking a rigorous academic structure based on Kolb and Kolb’s experiential learning spiral of experiencing, reflecting, thinking, and acting. Many of us began our exploration of PBL during our involvement with the Living Lab General Education Seminar. No matter the setting or discipline, Living Lab faculty, both full- and part-time, take on the role of learner, experiencing PBL first-hand, then developing learning opportunities that lead students through the spiral. Evidence of PBL is visible across the curriculum.

Join a growing community of faculty who are bringing City Tech’s mission to life and who are committed to expanding our classroom to the community around us and “equip[ping] students with both problem-solving skills and an understanding of the social contexts of technology”. Share your PBL activity on L4, The Living Lab Learning Library https:// Learn how faculty across the disciplines respond to “Why this place?” on the Faculty Commons website

Brooklyn Public Library To learn about Brooklyn places through historical primary sources, visit the Brooklyn Collection of the Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch at Grand Army Plaza. The Art Deco façade is grand without being intimidating. Cross the threshold into the lobby, head upstairs, enter the public reading room of the Brooklyn Collection, and notice how the place invites you to explore. Hold Brooklyn’s past in your hands. Anne Leonard Ursula C. Schwerin Library

Red Hook Winery Blending community, philanthropy and education, students in the Wines of the New World course participate in the winemaking process and create their own wine blends. Through a partnership with the Red Hook Winery and The Julia Child Foundation, students develop technical skills and reflect on their learning. It all happens here in Red Hook on the Brooklyn waterfront. Karen Goodlad Hospitality Management

[1] Karen Goodlad and Anne Leonard’s article, “Place-based Learning Across the Disciplines: a Living Laboratory Approach to Pedagogy”, published in Insight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching, volume 13.



Volume 9 | Summer 2018

MoMA Visiting the MoMA contextualizes architecture as art and exposes students to the broader context in which they are working. Ting Chin Architectural Technology

NY Supreme Court Students get acquainted with this fully stocked, publicly available law library that they can use as students, and in their legal careers. Kerin Coughlin Law and Paralegal Studies

Brooklyn BrIdge Park On our walking tour students learn about the Brooklyn Bridge as an engineering marvel, and explore the waterfront that inspired writers like Walt Whitman. A. Lavelle Porter English


Volume 9 | Summer 2018


Brooklyn Navy Yard The Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Urban Ecology tour, featuring a visit to the Brooklyn Grange, introduced students to a real-world example of sustainable agriculture. PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN RAJARAM

Sean MacDonald Social Science

Schomburg Center/

Research in Black Culture When we visit the Schomburg in Harlem, it is clear how the complexities of the Africana experience in New York and throughout the Diaspora are central to its mission. Marta Effinger-Crichlow African American Studies

Appellate Court Sketching the Appellate Courthouse helps the students apprehend composition and proportions in Classicallyinspired architecture. Michael Duddy Architectural Technology



Volume 9 | Summer 2018


CREATIVE ARTS SHOWCASE Featuring 2017 PSC CUNY Research Awardees

Suzanne Miller The Elmer Show! A musical adaptation of the children’s book Elmer... with puppets! In May of 2016, I was in contact with theater producer Jonathan Rockefeller (creator and producer of the Drama Desk award-nominated The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, and That Golden Girls Show: A Puppet Parody) to pitch him my idea for a musical stage adaptation of the classic children’s book Elmer. Rockefeller holds the worldwide film and stage rights for David McKee’s series of Elmer books. After reviewing samples of the scripts I’ve adapted for young audiences (Leo Lionni’s award-winning Frederick and a musical based on the children’s series Pete the Cat), Mr. Rockefeller and I met, along with puppet creator Joel Gennari and my collaborator Allison Leyton-Brown. Together, we agreed to create a musical stage adaptation of Elmer (with puppets) which was slated for its World Premiere in the UK (with partner Millenium Productions) in the fall of 2017; the premiere production will be followed by a regional tour.

Heidi Boisvert Walking Wounded: A Living Lab and Mufti-Media Dance Performance Transforming Trauma through Biomedia Walking Wounded is a living lab and multi-media dance performance that gives voice to the unspeakable experiences of trauma through generative sound and live drawing stemming from dancers’ internal milieu and their unique gesture vocabulary. It offers a space for healing those affected by trauma through kinesthetic engagement and the restoration of interpersonal connection established through touch. Erasing awareness and cultivating denial are often essential to survival. Over time, however, these defensive strategies which numb shame cause those who experience trauma to lose track of who they are, of what they are feeling, and of what and whom they can trust.

Dan Wong Connected Divergents The goal of this research is to create a body of large-scale artwork that combines manual, analog, and digital techniques. The theme of the work relates to current cultural, economic, political, and design topics from the perspective of those who live and work in New York City. What is particularly unique about Connected Divergents is the use of traditional one-stroke sign painting techniques applied to digitally manipulated photographs. The style will reference corporate graphic design, branding and advertising. It will also have a graffiti quality, with the imperfections of hand executed lettering and stenciled iconography.

M. Genevieve Hitchings A Closer Look: Comelia Hesse-Honegger’s ‘Disturbed’ Insects I am researching the work of scientific illustrator Cornelia Hesse-Honegger and her watercolor paintings of ‘disturbed’ insects for an article to be published in the Journal of Natural Science Illustration. For this project I am requesting travel funds (from the PSC-CUNY Research Award) to visit Ms. Hesse-Honegger in her studio in Zurich, Switzerland, over the summer. Perhaps most well known for her meticulous paintings of mutated insects that dramatically explore the damaging aftermath of Chemobyl’s nuclear meltdown, Ms. Hesse-Honegger has spent her long career bridging science and art in an effort to call attention to the fragile state of the natural world.


Volume 9 | Summer 2018


The Office of Sponsored Programs presents Scholars Exchange as a means of enabling faculty who have won PSC CUNY grants for research in the humanities and social sciences to present their work in progress to an audience of faculty peers. These informal interactive sessions have encouraged dialogue across departments and enriched the intellectual climate of the faculty community.

Paul King Architectural Technology Roebling: Before the Bridge The Brooklyn Bridge is arguably the most significant engineering achievement of the 19th century and the name Roebling is tied to its creation. But what technological innovations evolved over the course of the design and construction of the projects that came before? While there are historical accounts of the more significant work of Roebling, there is limited publication of archival drawings and writings that focus on the evolution and innovation of their construction. “Roebling: Before the Bridge,” a chronological review of the body of work of Roebling that preceded the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, seeks to focus on the value of these early works.

Emilie C. Boone African American Studies A Focus on Haitian Photography: New Approaches to Charlemagne Péralte Within a few years of the US Marines’ occupation of Haiti, Charlemagne Péralte openly opposes the foreign power. As a direct retaliation to his growing threat to US governance, Péralte is eventually found and murdered in an elaborate 1919 military operation. A photograph of Péralte’s dead body is taken, reproduced, and distributed by the Marines in order to intimidate potential dissenters. The arresting image, however, has a very different effect than the Marines intend, leading to Péralte’s recognition as a martyr. In this presentation, I offer insight into this image and its greater significance.

Sandra Cheng Humanities Florentine Comic Drawings: Spectacle, Caricature, and the Print Tradition Seventeenth-century Florence was a period of magnificent public festivities and court spectacles that masked the political decline of the powerful Medici family. Baccio del Bianco performed diverse roles for the Medici court as architect, stage designer, costume designer, and painter. Baccio also had a reputation as a caricaturist. He produced caricatures and comic drawings of caramogi (grotesque, hunchbacked dwarfs), which served as inverted portrayals of diverse social classes. The comic nature of Baccio’s drawings are related to the emerging print tradition of capricious subjects as well as the early practice of caricature.



Volume 9 | Summer 2018

Alyssa Adomaitis Business Impact of Sex in Luxury Fashion Advertisements on Brand Credibility, Image and Purchase Advertising is a key institution of socialization in postmodern society (Kilbourne, 1999; Messaris, 1997; Shields, 2002) According to Shields (p. 34) “images of ideal bodies, most often female bodies, are some of the most dominant and consistent images produced by advertisers.” Shields goes on to suggest that images give shape to expectations concerning how women “should look and be looked at, how we should feel and be made to feel, and how we should act” (p. 12). In addition, since the beginning of modern advertising, marketers have often used sex to promote their products and services (Sivulka, 2003). Sex in advertising has been defined as “sexuality in the form of nudity, sexual imagery, innuendo, and double entendre... employed as an advertising tool for a wide variety of products” (Courtney & Whipple, 1983, p. 103).

Annette Saddik English Tennessee Williams in Context An unusually productive writer, Tennessee Williams began writing serious plays during the Great Depression, achieved the height of his success in the postwar climate of the 1940s and 1950s, and continued to write and respond to social changes throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. In over 30 new essays from leading scholars, my proposed volume for Cambridge UP, Tennessee Williams in Context, explores Williams’ plays in new ways through changing political, socio-economic, and cultural developments in both the United States and abroad from the 1930s to the 1980s, and examines his relationship to the work of his contemporaries at various stages of his career.

Javiela Evangelista African American Studies Politics of Belonging in the Dominican Republic Javiela Evangelista will discuss her research project at the Archives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, Switzerland. The project examines historical points of engagement between the government of the Dominican Republic and the UNHCR. It also explores variations in the Dominican government’s acceptance of groups from a range of countries. This talk probes the grounds for asylum, citizenship, and ultimately, belonging in the Dominican Republic.

Johannah Rodgers English In Writing: An Exploration of the Affordances, Properties, and Functions of Verbal Language in Handwriting, Typewriting, Word Processing, and JavaScript Since the adoption of the printing press, we have been writing with and for machines. “In Writing” is a project dedicated to thinking about how the machines we use in the creation, production, and distribution of writing relate to how writing happens and what writing may mean. Functioning at once as a graphical, logical, and poetic sign system, verbal language has unique properties depending on the tools employed for its production and dissemination. In this project, I investigate the specific functions and affordances of verbal language across four distinct medial environments-- handwriting, typewriting, word processing, and JavaScript—in order to explore the shared and divergent processes, products, and rhetorical implications of writing in each.


Volume 9 | Summer 2018


“…creative collaboration are hallmarks of the academic programs.”

Behind the Scenes: Faculty Commons Art Exhibition Sandra Cheng, Anita Giraldo


t first glance, putting together an art exhibition seems easy …a call for entries, work comes in, put it on the walls…right? The attractiveness of the art display hides the labor behind every exhibition. A few years back, Barbara Burke conceived the idea for an exhibition of art made by City Tech faculty and staff. Her hope was to see the walls come to life in the Faculty Commons, a busy working space for faculty, staff and students. With her encouragement, two professors from the Communication Design and Humanities departments worked together to launch an annual exhibition at City Tech. An art history professor, a design instructor; a curator, an artist—both professionally invested in visual culture and constantly thinking about the context of images and their creation. Slowly, our ideas meld into a statement, a purpose; and we begin to develop ways to inform and encourage; a call for entries evolves into a call to action. A curated exhibition is an active statement—one that is meant to resonate with all who share in it and all who view it, tapping into the nerve center of the City Tech community. As we worked together on the first show, “Urban Beauty,” we immediately recognized the potential the exhibition had to foster community. We sought ways to encourage faculty and staff to share their thoughts and emotions with our City Tech “family,” to bare another side of ourselves with people whom we spend hours and years of time and intellectual energy. Not only was the exhibition space an opportunity to bring together faculty and staff from City Tech’s three schools, but it also revealed the creative side of our college community, a facet of our lives that we don’t often see. By exhibiting their creative work, the artists shared personal expressions



Volume 9 | Summer 2018

that further illuminated their professional personas. The art—the colorful composition of a math professor, the precious paperwork of a respected administrator, the modernist painting by a media professor—reveals creative talent that is oft hidden in our community of peers, our second home; the following yea’s exhibition, “At Home,” intentionally drew attention to the idea of home. The excitement rises as entries roll in, a jury is assembled, and the discussion begins. What does the art signify? What is the creator’s motive? How does the work identify with the exhibition theme? Conversations solidify into the final selection: each, an artwork that responds to the message, yet maintains its freedom of individuality in that expression; an exchange of discernment and inclusiveness to create a richly layered experience for the viewer. The rest—the schedule, the hanging, the invitations—is all mechanics. Titled “Bearing Witness” the current art exhibition features artists who have addressed James Balwin’s words “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”


“As a community City Tech nurtures an atmosphere of inclusion, respect, and open-mindedness in which all members can flourish.”


Faculty Commons Design Team is a group of students and recent alumni who contribute daily in service to faculty for the benefit of students. Recent projects include Project Wayfinding—connecting students with their departments for academic and career advisement. The team designs print and digital materials that raise awareness of course offerings so students can make informed choices about General Education requirements that match their personal interests and professional goals. Established in 2009, the team today continues to be a microcosm of City Tech.


Volume 9 | Summer 2018


Elmer: The Patchwork Elephant Show Suzanne Miller the characters in a more personal manner. And this is why I love working in children’s theater! Instead of having to wait for reviews the next day, I am able to look around the darkened theater and get a real sense of whether the show is working (legs and arms bouncing to the beat, heads inclined sharply, mouths about to comment…) or not (full-body fidgeting, feet kicking, small people trying to leave…) Children make it plain to see if the show is working or if it is not.



reating a piece of children’s theater is a lot like creating theater for adults: the show must have a captivating story and theme, the characters must draw in the audience, the set and costumes (and props and lighting and sound design…) must all work together to create a convincing world. The production doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive, but all the elements must be authentic to the world of the play in order to be compelling. Children, perhaps even more than adults, will sniff out a disingenuous plot or character or even costume choice… and they will let you know they aren’t buying it! Adults, for the most part, are compliant during a show in terms of how they engage with the live actors. While a few audience members may check cell phones and noisily unwrap candy, they will not shout directly at the actors. Kids, however, are often more like the Groundlings during Shakespeare’s time—feeling very free to speak directly to the actors on stage, sometimes sharing their reaction to whatever the character is going through at the moment. I have even seen a child somehow leap to the stage (as adults scrambled to stop him) to address one of



Volume 9 | Summer 2018

My new play Elmer: The Patchwork Elephant Show, which my collaborator (the composer Allison Leyton-Brown) and I adapted for the stage from the book by David McKee, centers on Elmer, who is (on the outside) very different from his herd. Unlike the gray elephants who surround him, Elmer’s hide is made up of brilliantly colored squares. Elmer’s behavior reflects his bright and fun colors, and he keeps the herd laughing and joking with his magic tricks and funny dances. But one day, Elmer becomes concerned that the herd only keeps him around because he is silly. In other words, he has a moment of self-doubt, and wonders if the herd loves him for who he is on the inside. The scene I’ve shared here occurs at the end of the play, when Elmer has secretly joined the herd as a “gray” elephant (having stained his hide with gray juice from a berry bush). Elmer has disguised himself in this way in hopes of gaining a glimpse into how the herd behaves in his absence. Elmer discovers that without him there, herd life is boring and lifeless. In this moment, we see that the elephants (led by Elder Elephant) recognize Elmer not because of his zany colors (as he has painted himself gray), but because of his personality that shines through despite his dull (for the moment anyway) exterior.

Elder Elephant approaches “gray” Elmer and gently guides him away from the chaos. ELDER ELEPHANT: Hello, Elmer. ELMER: Oh, you must be mistaken! I’m just another gray elephant. I’m just part of the herd… ELDER ELEPHANT: You are most definitely part of the herd, but you are not just another gray elephant. You are Elmer!!! ELMER: (not sure what to say) I…. ELDER ELEPHANT: You’ve done some silly stunts, Elmer. But this has been your best joke! ELMER: All right! I give up! How did you know it was me? ELDER ELEPHANT: Because you are showing your true colors… ELMER: But I’m gray—just like you. ELDER ELEPHANT: A bright spirit is hard to hide, Elmer— no matter what color you are on the outside. Just look around… the joy and laughter is back! Baby Elephant wanders over. BABY ELEPHANT: Oh, Elmer! We missed you. ELMER: You missed my green and yellow and red and black, white, and blue?! BABY ELEPHANT: And your pink and orange and purple, too! ELDER ELEPHANT: Yes, we missed your big, beautiful patchwork. But mostly we missed you! (pause) We love you, Elmer. ELMER: Hey! I think I finally found what I was looking for the whole time.

BABY ELEPHANT: What’s that? ELMER: My colors!!! BABY ELEPHANT: Huh? What do you mean? ELMER: I knew about the ones on the outside—but I have colors on the inside, too! A whole rainbow. The other jungle animals parade in. BABY ELEPHANT: (in wonderment) Wow… A rainbow inside… ELMER: And all my friends helped me to see it! (to all the animals) I learned to love my colors and be myself …and to do what makes me happy…but that it’s OK if sometimes I’m sad. And— that I’m one of a kind! But never alone. BABY ELEPHANT: (tugging on Elmer) Do you think I have a rainbow inside, too? ELMER: I know you do! We all do. Suddenly the stage darkens dramatically. ALL ELEPHANTS: The rain cloud! It’s about to burst!! A crack of thunder. The raincloud bursts. ALL ELEPHANTS: The rain! The rain! The rain pours down, and as it does, the gray stain washes off Elmer, revealing his beautiful patchwork. ELDER ELEPHANT: Oh, Elmer! What would we do without you?! Suzanne Miller teaches literature and writing courses in the English Department at City Tech. Her work has been seen in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Providence, New Haven and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Elmer: The Patchwork Elephant Show was recently performed in Toronto and will tour the UK starting in late 2018.


Volume 9 | Summer 2018


2018 PSC CUNY Research Awardees AWARDEE


Viviana Acquaviva


TITLE Measuring Galaxy Star Formation Histories with Machine Learning

Nora Almeida Co-PI, Kimberly Abrams Nathan Astrof


Navigating the Library: ESL Student Experiences with Resource Retrieval

Biological Sciences

A FRET Biosensor for Gustducin Signaling

Megan Behrent


Poetry and Politics: Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich and the Women's Liberation Movement

Oleg Berman


Straintronics for Controlling Excitons and Polaritons in Novel Two-Dimensional Materials

Mariya Bessonov


Relative Displacement of Random Walks and Information Security

Emilie Boone

African American Studies

The Gingerbread Houses of Haiti: Constellations of Caribbean and French Modes of Representation

Stephanie Boyle

Social Science

The World as We Know It

Juanita But


Disciplinary Literacy in Context: College Teaching and Learning in STEM and Professional Studies

Corina Calinescu


Combinatorial Bases of Modules for Twisted Affine Lie Algebras

Yu-Wen Chen

Computer Systems Technology

Distributed Large-scale Interaction and Adjustment for the Cloud-Based Energy Management Service

Andrew Douglas


Subalgebras of Semisimple Lie Algebras

Marta Effinger-Crichlow

African American Studies

Little Sallie Walker: The Impact of Rituals of Play on Black Women

Javiela Evangelista

African American Studies

Politics of Belonging in the Dominican Republic

Andrea Ferroglia


Precision Calculations for Associated Top Pair—Heavy Boson Production

Elena Filatova

Computer Systems Technology

The Analysis of Human Languages Distribution for the Mechanical Turk Workers Population

Katherine Gregory

Health Services Administration

Influence of Recreational Genetics in Identity Formation and Health Diagnostics

George Guida


Virtue at the Coffee House: Poetry, Community, and Culture in America

Ivan Guzman

Use of Reclaimed Cotton Fiber to Decrease Permeability and Increase Water Retention in Urban Roof Farms

Caroline Hellman

Construction Management and Civil Engineering Technology English

Delaram Kahrobaei


Fully Homomorphic Encryption Schemes Using Rings

Nadia Kennedy


Re-Viewing Mathematical Practice: The Use of Self-Video Recordings with Student Teachers Trion in Monolayer Transition Metal Dichalcogenides: Faddeev Equations and Hyperspherical Harmonics

The Children of the Raven and the Whale: Visions and Revisions in American Literature

Roman Kezerashvili


Heejun Kim

Hospitality Management

Brooklyn Visitors’ Profile and Image as a Tourism Destination

Caner Koca


Canonical Metrics in Kahler and Generalized Kahler Geometry

Boyan Kostadinov


Iterated Circular Convolutions in the Binomial Options Pricing Model

Darya Krym


Entanglement Entropy in M-theory

George Larkins

Communication Design

When the Dogs were Silent

Lufeng Leng


Transient Effects in Optical Parity-Time Symmetric Structures Using Dynamic Transfer Matrix Method

Nan Li


Lower Curvature Bounds and Contractible Covering

Ariane Masuda


Permutation Polynomials and Balanced Efficiency

Robin Michals

Communication Design

In the Purple Rain: Houston After Harvey

Diana Mincyte

Social Science

Post-Socialist Battles: Rural Reforms, Trade Agreements, and the Politics of Survival in Lithuania

Giovanni Ossola


Higher-Order Calculations for Muon-Electron Scattering Set-theoretic Geology of Pseudo-grounds

Jonas Reitz


Jody Rosen


Serial Wharton: A Digital Archive

Hans Schoutens


Dimension Theory in Non-standard Algebraic Geometry Newtown Creek, A History and Economic Geography

Peter Spellane


Claire Stewart

Hospitality Management

Investigating Poppy Cannon: Food Writer and Rebel

Thomas Tradler


Koszuality of Anti-symmetric Co-inner Products

Shauna Vey


Completing the Puzzle: John Wilson, Louise Arnot, and Omar Kingsley in Australia

Yu Wang Co-PI, Sunghoon Jang

Computer Engineering Technology

An IoT-enabled Smart Elderly Living Environment

Xinzhou Wei

Mechanical Engineering Technology

A Public Data Visualization Scheme for Smart City

Derek Wilson

Construction Management and Civil Engineering Technology

Pedestrian Traffic Analysis in New York City

Daniel Wong

Communication Design

Connected Divergents: Scaling Up

Sara Woolley

Communication Design

Los Pirineos the Mostly True Memoirs of Esperancita Gómez, Book 2

Angran Xiao

Mechanical Engineering Technology

Product Rapid Tooling using 3D Printing Technologies

Chen Xu

Computer Engineering Technology

Toward Compact and Low-cost Near Infrared Diffuse Optical Imaging System



Volume 9 | Summer 2018

[radical] signs of life

Cover by Soyo Lee Composition by Heidi Boisvert [radical] signs of life is a large-scale multi-media experience employing biotechnology to integrate networked bodies and interactive dance. The work externalizes the mind's non-hierarchical distribution of thought through responsive, rule-based choreography and a database of phrases. Music is generated from the dancers' muscles and blood flow via biophysical sensors that capture sound waves from the performers’ bodies. This data triggers complex neurobiological algorithms to be projected onto multiple screens as 3D imagery. As the audience interacts with the images produced, they enter into a dialogue with the dancers. Conceptually, the piece is an embodied examination of the increasing disparity between the encroachment of bio-data and the quiet discord of bio-memory.


Volume 9 | Summer 2018




Volume 9 | Summer 2018

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.