February 2, 2000
Update Archives





UAlbany Wins $3.5 Million EPA Grant to “Fingerprint” New York City Pollution
By Vinny Reda

   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded UAlbany's Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC) $3.5 million to conduct a comprehensive study into the causes, makeup and health effects of atmospheric pollutants in New York City. Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Professor and ASRC Director Kenneth Demerjian will be the principal investigator.
    The award is part of an $18.5 million nationwide EPA study of pollution in selected regions, titled the Particulate Matter “Supersites” Program. Similar grants were awarded by EPA to research institutions that will study pollution in and around Pittsburgh, Pa., St. Louis, Mo., Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, Calif., and Baltimore-Washington. The ASRC study received the maximum award, of which approximately $2.75 million will consist of work by UAlbany researchers, said Demerjian.
    Other ASRC faculty researchers participating in the effort are professors G. Garland Lala and James J. Schwab, research associate Utpal K. Roychowdhury, and emeritus faculty member Volker A. Mohnen. 
    In addition, four researchers from the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), three from the State Department of Health, and one each from Clarkson University, Penn State University, and the Brookhaven National Laboratories will contribute to the project. Instrumentation for measuring gas-phase and particulate matter will come from H. Patashnick, Rupprecht and Patashnick Co., Inc., of Albany; Aerodyne Research Inc. of Boston, Mass.; and Aerosol Dynamics Inc. of San Jose, Calif. 
    The DEC is also providing a particle analysis laboratory and three monitoring sites in New York City. 
    “This major new program has national public policy implications and will be an important new extension of ASRC research,” said Christopher F. D'Elia, vice president for Research. “We are particularly pleased with our enhanced research relationships with DEC and our other partners.” 
    Said DEC Commissioner John P. Cahill: “Under Gov. Pataki's leadership, New York State has led the nation in fighting air pollution, and this grant will contribute to that effort.” 
    Using the three New York City sites, located in the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, and The Bronx, and three regional sites, which include ASRC sites at Whiteface Mountain and Pinnacle State Park, the Supersite project will begin in April to make comprehensive measurements of “PM2.5” pollutants - small particles with diameters of 2.5 microns or less - as well as other atmospheric contaminants. 
    These measurements will characterize the pollutants, both in terms of their makeup and by the precursors, co-pollutants and atmospheric transport that caused their formation.
    “You need to know the composition of the particulate matter as well as its attributes to understand what you must control in order to truly mitigate the problem,” said Demerjian. “For instance, you may know that sulfur levels are too high, but if you control that in a way that exacerbates the formulation of a nitrate, you may not be accomplishing much overall.”
    He added that findings will reveal what percentage of the contaminants in the atmosphere are from natural sources, which are not “naturally controllable,” and which others are caused by pollutants whose origin may be from an outside region - such as the Ohio Valley - and therefore beyond the sole control of New York State health and environmental initiatives.
    “It is, in essence, a chemical fingerprint,” he said.
    The project will also monitor specifically the effectiveness of new compressed natural gas-fueled buses being introduced in New York City to replace the formerly standard diesel-fueled variety. The new emission controls and their results on ambient air quality will be tested through remote roadside and mobile-platform site measurements. 
    Finally, the project is charged with determining the relationship among pollutant concentrations, human exposure and health effects, such as respiratory tract diseases. Testing and evaluating new measurement technologies for analysis tools and health-based exposure assessments will also be part of this effort. 
    “We hope ultimately to be able to transfer new technologies over to the DEC that will allow them to have the best information-gathering tools possible to construct anti-pollution strategies,” said Demerjian. 
    DEC Chairman Cahill agreed. “DEC looks forward to working cooperatively with the University at Albany to develop a more complete understanding of where air pollution comes from, knowledge that ultimately will help us better protect the health of New Yorkers,” he said.

KeyCorp Gives Boost to UAbany Division I Athletics
By Lisa James Goldsberry

  Providing a significant boost to the University at Albany's new Division I athletics program, KeyCorp has pledged $250,000 in support for the program. This is the largest gift to date in the history of UAlbany athletics.
The funds will go toward an endowment to support athletic scholarships and the University's athletic programs.
    UAlbany President Karen R. Hitchcock and KeyBank President Robert E. Smyth announced the gift at a special ceremony on Monday, Jan. 31, at the Recreation and Convocation Center (RACC). In recognition of the gift, the RACC atrium has been named the Key Atrium.
    “The University at Albany is delighted to have the dynamic sponsorship of one of the nation's leading financial institutions supporting our Division I sports programs and athletes,” said President Hitchcock. “Key continues to exemplify corporate philanthropy in the Capital Region. We are grateful to local Key management and also to Gary Allen, former KeyCorp executive and an Albany alumnus, of whom we are very proud. Gary has remained a great friend and benefactor of the University.”
    KeyCorp has given more than half a million dollars over the past decade to UAlbany in support of athletics and the Center for Environmental Sciences and Technology Management.
    “Key has been a friend and business partner with UAlbany for many years, and we have participated together on several successful endeavors, which have benefited the University and the Capital Region economically. Our support for the Center for Environmental Sciences and Technology Management and for the New York Giants Summer Camp are two recent examples of Key's collaboration with the University. The elevation of UAlbany athletics to Division I will have a substantial economic impact on this area, and Key is pleased to support this kind of growth for the University and the Capital Region,” said KeyBank President Smyth.
    “Having a corporate sponsor of this magnitude during the early stages of Division I truly benefits our entire athletics program,” said Interim Director of Athletics Gail Cummings-Danson. “We are especially pleased the education of our student-athletes will be furthered.”
     In recognition of this gift, as well as Key's generous support of the University over the past decade, Key will be featured as the title sponsor of Albany athletics. Additional benefits to the Capital Region include: 
     special sports clinics conducted by Great Dane coaches for underprivileged youth.
     scholarships to specialty sports camps conducted by UAlbany coaches for underprivileged youth in our area.
      tickets for special-needs organizations to UAlbany football and basketball games courtesy of Key.

Cleveland-based KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) is one of the nation's largest integrated multi-line financial services companies, with assets of about $83 billion. 

UAlbany Celebrates Black History Month
By Lisa James Goldsberry

   In observance of Black History Month in February, UAlbany has invited Frank Pogue, founder of the Martin Luther King Luncheon, to be the keynote speaker at the 21st annual luncheon at noon, February 17, in the Campus Center Ballroom. 
    Pogue, now president of Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, was formerly an associate professor of African/Afro-American studies at UAlbany. He worked in the SUNY system for 23 years, most recently for SUNY Central Administration as vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Special Programs.
    “We extend a hearty welcome to Frank Pogue on his visit to his UAlbany family,” said James P. Doellefeld, vice president for Student Affairs. “A leader of vision and principle, he made a difference.”
    Doellefeld said, “Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans to this country and the world as well as to pause and to remember the sacrifices and struggles of people of African descent.”
    UAlbany's month-long celebration began Feb. 1 with the Department of Africana Studies' lecture on “Brown vs. the Topeka, Kansas, Board of Education: Its Implications Beyond 2000” by Gerald Patton, director of the New York State Department of Education. 
    On Thursday, Feb. 3 at 4:30 p.m., Africana Studies will present a “Colloquy on the Black Family” by department professors Marcia Sutherland and Sharon Parkinson, in Humanities 039. “Black History Month is a perfect time to reflect on struggles and achievements and treat them in such a manner as to give meaning and perspective, clarity and insights, and balance and proportion to the total African American experience,” said Leonard A. Slade Jr., professor of Africana Studies.
    For music lovers, the Department of Africana Studies will host a concert by the Black Apostolate Choir on Friday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. The choir is from St. George's Catholic Church in Albany. The cost to attend is $2.
    A Diversity Topics Film Series, held on Thursdays at noon in Campus Center 370, kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 10, with The Essential Blue-Eyed. The film will offer an opportunity to experience a full-length workshop with Jane Elliott, one of America's most celebrated diversity trainers. Her blue-eyed/brown-eyed exercise, recognized as a groundbreaking experiment in anti-racism training, has been featured on Today, The Tonight Show, and Oprah. Sue Faerman, dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Carl Martin, assistant vice president for Student Affairs, will be facilitators.
    This film series is for those who want to learn more about how prejudice impacts both individuals and society and what each of us can do to make a difference. It is co-sponsored by the Department of Student Life, the Division of Student Affairs, the campus affiliate of the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI), Academic Support Services, Women's Studies, and the Department of Africana Studies.
    Students are also planning events to celebrate Black History Month. The Albany State University Black Alliance (ASUBA) will host a two-day Hip Hop and Black Arts Conference from Friday, Feb. 11 to Sunday, Feb. 13. The conference will address the significant impact that hip-hop and black arts culture have on the lives of our youth. Among the highlights are: Professor Griff and Chuck D from the rap group Public Enemy, live jazz music, and Universal Poetics. There will be workshops on topics such as “The Origin of Hip Hop,” and “The Media and its Stereotyping of the Culture.”
    On Tuesday, Feb. 15, Lillian Williams, a professor in the Department of Women's Studies, will read from her new book, Strangers in the Land of Paradise: The Creation of an African-American Community in Buffalo, New York, 1900-1940. The reading, sponsored by Africana Studies, will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Humanities 039.
Allen Ballard, professor of Africana Studies and history, and Joyce DeWitt Parker, a staff psychologist with the University Counseling Center, will be guest facilitators for the second film series showing, A Question of Color, on Wednesday, Feb. 16. This is the first documentary to confront the dynamic at work for some African Americans who harbor negative feelings about themselves and their appearance.
    The third film series feature, on Thursday, Feb. 24, will be Skin Deep, which chronicles the eye-opening journey of a diverse and divided group of college students as they explore their prejudices, acknowledge past hurts, and try to understand each other's racial attitudes. Carson Carr, associate dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Vivien Ng, chair of the Women's Studies Department, will serve as guest facilitators.
    The film series will conclude with Prejudice: The Monster Within, on March 2. The video will address many troubling questions, including why prejudice has always been with us, how we can identify it in ourselves, and how we can work to end it. Guest facilitators will be Nancy Belowich-Negron, director of the Office of Disabled Student Services and chair of the campus affiliate chapter of NCBI, and Anthony Torres, director of Multicultural Student Services.

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