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Summer 2000

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News Briefs

Grant supports technology in teaching
Trustee news
Grant brings micromanipulator
Computer institute grows


Grant supports technology in teaching

Skidmore has received a two-year $100,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation to assist humanities faculty in integrating information technology in their teaching and learning.

In each year of the grant, the AT&T funds and additional Skidmore funding will support the work of six to eight teams consisting of a faculty member with a Skidmore librarian and a specialist from the College’s Center for Information Technology Services. Each team will revamp or redesign particular courses to take advantage of resources like the World Wide Web, e-mail, and interactive multimedia.

“We want to help more of our faculty deepen their engagement with information resources, so they can use fully the educational possibilities of digital technology,” says Professor of Computer Science Robert DeSieno, who oversees faculty development and sponsored research at Skidmore. “We believe that this initiative will encourage more faculty and students to use information technology with greater effectiveness and confidence.”

The grant follows up on a 1997 AT&T award for a similar program.

Trustee news

Four new trustees have joined the board, and a longtime member has been honored with the Kemball-Cook Award.

John Howley ’80 has begun a four-year term on the board. A government and history major, Howley graduated from New York Law School and became its youngest-ever trustee. Drawing on extensive experience in the Philippines, Howley has specialized in international trade law. He is a partner in the litigation department of the New York City firm of Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hayes & Handler. Coordinator of his firm’s pro bono services, he won the 1998 Thurgood Marshall Award for his work on behalf of the poor and underrepresented on death row.

Susan Gottlieb Beckerman ’67 also starts a four-year term on the board. An English major, she went on to earn an M.B.A. from Baruch College. She has owned a real-estate investment and property management firm and served as a financial consultant. An active Skidmore fundraising volunteer, she has been a class and regional leader for the Friends of the Presidents and has provided major support for the College’s Student Opportunity Fund, which helps several students each year to travel to academic conferences, engage in special creative or service projects, and participate in other enrichment activities.

Florence Andresen ’57 has joined the board for a four-year term as alumni trustee. A longtime leader in the Glen Cove, N.Y., public schools, she spearheaded important educational reforms and was recognized with a number of honors. Andresen is a member of Educorps, a group of retired school superintendents who help and advise New York State schools. In the mid-1990s she was president of the Saratoga Springs Education Foundation and the Saratoga Springs Rotary Club. She is the Skidmore alumni board’s vice president for the annual fund and chair of this year’s polo benefit for the Palamountain Scholarships.

Tanya Fandiño ’95 is Skidmore’s new young-alumni trustee, serving a two-year term. As a student she was a resident assistant in the dormitories and worked as a research assistant in the Business Department. In her senior year she was president of the Pacesetters student-alumni group and chair of the senior-class pledge drive; her service and leadership earned her the 1995 Candace Carlucci Award. Fandiño is currently manager of the Internet banking project for Citizens’ Bank of Rhode Island and also an M.B.A. student in finance at Bryant College.

Trustee John Morris was given the board’s Denis B. Kemball-Cook Award this spring, in recognition of his service to Skidmore. A philosophy professor, Morris became provost and president at Colgate University and later served as president of Union, New England, and Cazenovia Colleges. He joined Skidmore’s board in 1986, the year after his wife, Enid, graduated from Skidmore’s University Without Walls. His trustee work has included two presidential searches, bringing David Porter in 1987 and Jamienne S. Studley in 1999. The recipient of a Skidmore honorary doctorate in 1991, Morris is known, said the Kemball-Cook citation, for his “equilibrium and ease within the academic community” and his “respectful attention to varied points of view.”

Grant brings micromanipulator

It’s one thing to peer, hands off, at a microorganism under the scope, but now biology students can inject dyes, toxins, or other substances into living cells and monitor the reactions. A $45,000 grant from the Lintilhac Foundation, chaired by Crea Lintilhac ’67, has funded the purchase of a new micromanipulator system, including an inverted microscope (its lenses are under the work surface, out of the way) fitted at the sides with a holding or pinning device and a microinjector device. There is also equipment for fashioning micropipettes (tiny glass needles), through which injections are delivered by fine-tuned puffs of gas. The microscope is connected to a computer with “top-notch image analysis software for work like measuring cell size and volume, particle analysis, and color resolution,” says Professor of Biology David Domozych. “It’s an amazingly precise yet easy-to-use system.”

Upcoming users of the system, along with plant biology and physiology classes, include researchers Seth Glasser ’02, who will inject calcium-seeking dyes into one-celled algae to find stores of calcium, a key mineral in the secretion of various biochemicals, and Jennie Chaiet ’02, who will identify and quantify microplankton from the Hudson River as part of a viral transmission study.

Three years ago the Biology Department received a Lintilhac grant for another light microscopy system that’s now “our main research scope,” says Domozych. He adds that “Skidmore’s Lintilhac Light Microscopy Lab is as good if not better than those at many graduate schools.”

Computer institute grows

Skidmore marked the third anniversary of its Computer Career Institute, a computer training facility in White Plains, N.Y., by adding two new CCI locations in New York City. CCI classes—from PC service and system administration to graphics to Web design—began this summer in Jackson Heights, which expects to serve 370 students, and in Brooklyn Heights, which will serve about 345. All three locations offer a range of day and evening courses, as well as career and placement service.

More than 1,500 people have studied at CCI since its opening, and demand keeps growing, according to Donald McCormack, Skidmore’s dean of special programs. With the rapid growth and change in information-technology jobs, many workers are seeking to expand or update their computing skills. By sponsoring CCI, McCormack says, Skidmore’s Office of Special Programs is “providing instruction that is both analytical and practical and at the same time fostering life-long learning.” John Bonanno, executive director of CCI, adds that each CCI course is so focused that full-time students can complete their training and enter the workforce in two to three months; part-time students can finish in about seven months.

 


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