November 2015: Manhattan Monthly

View all the recent accomplishments and accolades of Manhattan College’s faculty, staff and students.

Nov. 7-9, Manhattan students traveled to Washington D.C., to participate in the 18th Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ). IFTJ is a national social justice gathering of 1,600 people, predominately students and young adults, affiliated with U.S. Jesuit institutions and the larger Catholic Church. The Manhattan College contingent including campus minister Conor Reidy met with staffers representing Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (Md.). They discussed environmental policy, comprehensive immigration reform, and human rights in Central America.

The students included: Karina Borrani ’18, allied health major; Alannah Boyle ’18, peace studies and philosophy major; Brianna DelSanto ’18, special and elementary education major; Meghan Dinegar ’16, English major; Benjamin Fisher ’17, government major; Chris Hoey ’18, electrical engineering major, Kayli McTague ’17, English major; Victoria Hernandez Morales ’18, communication major; Patrick O’Connor ’18, accounting major; and Allison Ready ’18, communication major.

Eileen Becerra ’19 was highlighted in an Oct. 22 Fairfield County Business Journal article on first-generation students' transition to college.

School of Business

In October, School of Business professors Musa Jafar, Janet Rovenpor and Grishma Shah won the Best Case Award (third place) at the annual North American Case Research Association (NACRA) Conference in Orlando in October.

Their case, A Brand Under Attack: The Boycott of Stoli Vodka and the Power of Social Media, highlights the work of John Esposito ’69, chairman of Stoli Group USA and former president, and Lori Tieszen, chief marketing officer at Stoli USA, during a social media crisis in 2013. Esposito and Tieszen will participate in an interactive presentation of the case on Nov. 18 with students from the Management Club.

The professors current titles include: Musa Jafar, Ph.D., associate professor of accounting, law and CIS; Janet Rovenpor Ph.D., professor of management and marketing; and Grishma Shah, Ph.D., assistant professor of management and marketing.

School of Education and Health

At the opening session of the 50th Biennial Convocation on Oct. 22, The Mu Sigma Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education was recognized as one of the 2015 Achieving Chapter Excellence (ACE) Award winners. The chapter also won the top award for service, specifically for the annual Safe Halloween Experience, which host trick-or-treating and themed activities across campus. Brother Raymond Meagher, Ph.D., FSC, visiting assistant professor, is the moderator of the honor society.

School of Liberal Arts

Kevin Ahern, Ph.D., assistant professor of religious studies, participated in a two-day seminar in Rome, which was hosted by the Pontifical Justice and Peace Council to mark the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council document Gaudium et Spes. As part of the event, he was asked to introduce and chair a session on Youth and Peace. Read more on Tumblr

Adam Arenson, Ph.D., associate professor of history and director of the Urban Studies program, recently submitted a guest blog for The Society for U.S. Intellectual History on Nov. 11 titled, “U.S. History’s Regional Associations—Shaped By Geography or Driving Questions? And Does It Matter?” Read the post

Mehnaz M. Afridi, Ph.D., director of the College’s Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center and assistant professor of religious studies, spoke at the following events:

  • On Nov. 3, Merrimack College’s annual Kristallnacht-Holocaust Commemoration.
  • Monroe Community College’s annual Kristallnacht program on Arabs and the Holocaust on Nov. 12.
  • On Nov.12, Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, NY Panel on “Antisemitism and Islamophobia” with Rabbi Alan Katz and Dr. Muhammad Shafiq.
  • The Sinai Temple in Summit, N.J., annual lecture for Kristallnacht on Nov. 15.

Afridi was also interviewed on WWXI News, the local NPR station for Rochester, NY, on Nov 8.

She recently discussed the Holocaust, Jews, Islam and anti-semitism, on Hadassah's Defining Zionism in the 21st Century monthly series. Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, runs a monthly online program for all to explore various perspectives of Zionism. Watch the videos

Last month, Afridi was quoted in an ABC WISN 12 News article and a piece by The Jerusalem Post on recent comments on the Holocaust made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In addition, Afridi’s article “Nostalgia and Memory in Jewish–Muslim Encounters” was published in Cross Currents Vol. 65 issue 3, September 2015.

Ashley Cross, Ph.D., professor of English and chair of the department, gave a talk on Oct. 2 at Fordham University in their Fordham Romanticist Group’s History of a Book series. Cross explained the making of her forthcoming book Mary Robinson and the Genesis of Romanticism: Literary Dialogues and Debts, 1784-1821 (Routledge).

Robert Geraci, Ph.D., professor of religious studies, will present at the annual conference for the American Academy of Religion in Atlanta. On Nov. 21, he will participate in a public conversation about his book Virtually Sacred: Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life (Oxford, 2014). In addition on Nov. 22, Geraci will present “Narendra Modi and the Revelation of Vedic Science.”

Manhattan College’s Model UN team recently attended the National Model United Nations conference in Washington D.C., and came home with three awards. The team represented the Russian Federation, and won an Honorable Mention for their work. The two Security Council members, Luke Hartman ’16, communication and international studies double major, and Kevin Nickels ’16, communication major, received Outstanding Position Paper Awards. Program director Pamela Chasek, Ph.D., professor of government and chair of the department, also accompanied the group.

The team consisted of the following students:

  • Taylor Allen ’16, urban affairs major
  • Micaela Bishop ’18, government major
  • Gabrielle Cervone ’17, government major
  • Alessandra Eraifej  ’18, English major
  • Oliver Granas ’17, international studies major
  • Natalie Heinitz ’16, communication and government double major
  • Kevin Hill ’17, government and international studies double major
  • Chris Hoey ’17, electrical engineering major
  • Paige Hughes ’16, urban affairs major
  • Margaret Kavanagh ’16, peace studies major
  • Sydney Kukoda ’19, English major
  • Kristen Normoyle ’19, government major
  • Vincenzo San Lorenzo ’17, finance and economics double major
  • Marissa Schmidt ’17, international studies major

On Nov. 4, Julie Leininger Pycior, Ph.D., professor of history, presented the invited paper “LBJ and Educational Opportunity, with Particular Reference to Mexican Americans” at the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Higher Education Act, Texas State University. She also discussed the invited paper “Oral History in the History of Mexican American Activism” on Nov. 12 at the conference Latinos, the Voting Rights Act, and Political Engagement, University of Texas-Austin.

School of Engineering

Sina Shahbazmohamadi, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will speak at the REAL 2016 conference in March in San Francisco. The conference centers around Reality Computing and Shahbazmohamadi will present his own work relating to 3D printing.

School of Science

Ankur Agrawal, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science, discussed Bioinformatics and Biomedicine at the IEEE conference in Washington D.C. on Nov. 10. The paper will be published in the proceedings of the conference and is titled “Algorithmic Detection of Inconsistent Modeling among SNOMED CT Concepts by Combining Lexical and Structural indicators.”

In January, physics major Dylan Gray ’16 will participate in a panel discussion in Washington D.C., with eight other students from The New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U) campuses. The panel discussions will highlight how the consortium’s mission to integrate liberal arts, professional studies and civic engagement has improved the quality of their college experience while preparing them with real-world skills. The panels will take place prior to and during the AAC&U Annual Meeting, one of the largest gatherings in higher education. Read more

Faculty in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department including Joseph Capitani, Ph.D., professor, Richard Kirchner, Ph.D., professor, and John Regan, Ph.D., associate professor and chair, co-authored a paper published in the November 2015 edition of “Acta Crystallographic Communications Section E.” The paper describes an unprecedented chemical reaction and the x-ray crystal structure of the unexpected product. Science students Michelle Annabi ’15, Md Azim ’17, Anthony DiProperzio ’16, Corine Laplanche '17, Daniel Schiavone '14, and Kevin Speina '15 contributed to the project. In addition, two professors at Fordham collaborated on the project.

Kirchner was also recently selected as a 2015 Senior Scientist Mentor to support his research with undergraduates through The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. The award provides a $20,000 grant to eight emeritus faculty in the chemical sciences in support of undergraduate research to be conducted under their guidance.

MC Staff