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Logan on School Segregation in America
By Merci Miglino
Nearly 40 years after Martin Luther King dreamt of children being judged by the “content of their character” and not the color of their skin, hundreds of thousands of American children are sitting in public school classrooms that are becoming more segregated - thanks to the growing number of school districts handling racial balance issues without the enforcement of court-order desegregation plans.

That’s the finding of a new report titled “Choosing Segregation: Racial Imbalance in American Public Schools,” issued by UAlbany’s Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research. The report analyzes the most recently released data on school enrollments from the National Center for Educational Statistics.

“There is clearly a rollback in the desegregation progress made before 1990,” according to Mumford Center director John R. Logan, professor of sociology.

“Desegregation in 18 of the largest metropolitan regions, evident in the 1989-90 school year, has given way to substantial increases in black-white segregation.”

According to the Mumford report, white, black and Hispanic elementary children all typically attend schools where they are in the majority. For example, the average white child attends a school that is more than 77 percent white, 9 percent black, 9 percent Hispanic, and 4 percent Asian.

Each minority group’s exposure to white children is declining, according to the report. In 1989-90, 31 percent of the average black child’s schoolmates were white; that has dropped to 26 percent in 1999-2000. Similar drops were experienced by Hispanics (from 29 percent to 24 percent) and Asians (52 percent to 45 percent).

“This also means that nearly two-thirds of black children or two-thirds of white children would have to transfer to a different school in order to achieve integration,” said Logan. This represents a small but significant shift, considering that residential segregation is declining by 3 or 4 points in the same period.

“In many of the regions we looked at,” said Logan, “school officials were released from desegregation orders in the last decade. This indicates that increased school segregation is not the result of changes in neighborhood demographics but changes in policy.”

New national data also indicate that segregation places black and Hispanic children, on average, in schools where two-thirds of students are below or near the poverty line. This result is especially significant given the argument of some that it is not segregration but economic class that disadvantages members of any race.

In metropolitan regions where minority children are more segregated from white children, they also have a much greater exposure to poverty in their schools than do whites.

“There is a long history of ‘separate and unequal’ education in American public schools,” concludes Logan. “This report shows that racial segregation benefits white students, placing them in very different schools from minority students, and particularly in schools with higher-income classmates. The price of racial segregation is being paid mostly by black and Hispanic children, but Asian children also are disadvantaged relatively to whites.”

The Lewis Mumford Center’s report on these trends, “Choosing Segregation: Racial Imbalance in American Public Schools,” can be downloaded at

John Loga

Graduate Students in Aging to Benefit from Hearst Fellowship
The University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare has won a $500,000 endowed fellowship from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation to educate social workers to work effectively with people older than 65.

By the year 2030, one in every five Americans will be older than 65. Of 600,000 practicing social workers in the U.S., only 5,000 are specially trained to work with an aging population.

“UAlbany is a comprehensive research university committed to life-long learning and service,” said President Karen R. Hitchcock. “Our engagement in the aging community is improving the quality of life for citizens of all ages by building quality learning, research, and service opportunities. We are most appreciative of the Hearst Foundation’s contribution to this important education and community-enrichment initiative.”

“The funding from the Hearst Foun-dation will enable graduate students to improve services for the aging through research, testing, and fostering innovative practices. We are grateful to the foundation for its support of this important community initiative,” said Katharine Briar-Lawson, dean of the School of Social Welfare.

Faculty & Staff

2002 Fulbright Scholar Grant Awarded to Harry L. Frisch
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Harry L. Frisch was awarded a 2002 Fulbright scholar grant. Frisch, whose research focuses on polymer chemistry and physics and statistical mechanics, is also interested in selected topics in biophysics, disordered solids and classical fluids. He is spending the semester at South Africa’s University of Stellenbosch, where he is lecturing and conducting research on “Physics and Physical Chemistry of Macromolecules and Stiff Polymers.”

Rachel Cohon Receives NEH Fellowship
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) presented a Fellowship for University Teachers to Professor Rachel Cohon of the philosophy department. During her fellowship year, she will work on her book Virtue Felt and Fabricated: A Study of Hume’s Ethics. Cohon, who has written articles for such publications as Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophical Studies, and Philosophical Review, teaches graduate courses in moral theory. Her fields of interest are ethics, the philosophy of action, and the history of ethics.

Susan Phillips Works with the APA
Professor of Counseling Psychology Susan D. Phillips is continuing her work with the American Psychology Association’s Committee on Accreditation (CoA). Phillips, who joined the counseling psychology faculty in 1979 and currently chairs the department, is the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and was named the Psychological Association of Northeastern New York’s Distinguished Psychologist for 1998. A Fellow in the American Psychological Association and chair of its Committee on Accreditation (CoA), she teaches the counseling practicum and theories of career development; her research interests are decision-making models and career development. Phillips, whose work has appeared in the Journal of Counseling Psychology, the Journal of Vocational Behavior, and The Counseling Psychologist, is working with the CoA to review and accredit hundreds of doctoral, postdoctoral, and internship psychology programs each year. Currently, the committee is devising new standards for programs.

Lance Bosart Honored
Lance F. Bosart
of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences has received the American Meteorological Society’s Teaching Excellence Award. Bosart, who has broad research interests in planetary-scale, synoptic-scale, and mesoscale meteorology, works on a variety of multiscale (time and space) research problems that relate to the weather and climate of the middle latitudes and tropics. He is also interested in the weather analysis and forecasting process, including forecast verification studies and the measurement and assessment of forecaster skill.

Library Appointments
Karen Brown
was named head of the Preservation Department last fall. Her experience includes working in the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass., and as a conservator in the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick at the University of New Brunswick. She has a master’s degree in library and information studies as well as an M.A. in art conservation.

Brian Keough was named head of the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives in November, 2001. His appointment was the result of a national search. Keough has worked in the Grenander Department since July 1999 as a curator of manuscripts. He was a records consultant for the New York State Archives and an archivist at the Chicago Public Library. He earned a B.A. in history from West Chester University, and an M.L.S. and M.A. in history from UAlbany.

Other recently hired library staff include Saeng Ill Bae as the interlibrary loan researcher in the interlibrary loan unit; Jane Kessler and Elaine Lasda in the Reference division, and Wendy West as assistant to the head of cataloging services.

Events and Happenings

President Hitchcock

President Karen R. Hitchcock, speaking at the December 12 “Kick-Off Breakfast” at the Legislative Office Building to celebrate a new, region-wide effort to develop and implement a plan to create an exemplary aging-prepared community environment in the Capital Region. The breakfast was sponsored by UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare in and the New York State Office for the Aging./Photo by Mark Schmidt.

Award winners

Troy Savings Bank recently donated $30,000 to the School of Social Welfare’s Internships for Aging Program. Back row, from left: Katharine Briar-Lawson, dean of the School of Social Welfare, and Courtney Kuhn, an MSW candidate working with the aging project. Front row, from left: Dale Budha, manager of Social Services, Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center, Tammie Charbonneau, an MSW candidate on the aging project, Anne “Ricky” Fortune, associate dean, School of Social Welfare, and Daniel J. Hogarty, Jr., Troy Savings Bank president./Photo by Mark Schmidt.

Sophia Lubensky

From left, Professor Sophia Lubensky of the Department of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures, and Professor Marina L. Remneva, dean of the Philology Division, Moscow State University, at MSU’s international conference on Russian as a Foreign Language, December 4-6. Lubensky gave a paper on “Lexicon, Grammar, Dictionary,” and greeted conference participants at Remneva’s invitation. Among the presenters were scholars from Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Israel, Italy, Poland, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, USA, and many of the former Soviet republics.

Ray Falconer, “The Dean of Weather Forecasting,” Dies at 88
By Greta Petry
Raymond E. Falconer
, who was known as “the dean of weather forecasting,” the unofficial “voice of the University,” and “Mr. Weather,” died in December at the age of 88 at the Wesley Health Care Center in Saratoga Springs after a short illness.

From 1946 to 1957, Falconer worked at the General Electric Research Laboratory in Schenectady with Nobel Prize winner Irving Langmuir, Vincent Schaefer, and Bernard Vonnegut. While there, he also worked with Duncan C. Blanchard, professor emeritus, who gave remarks at Falconer’s December 28 memorial service at the Burnt Hills United Methodist Church.

At the service, Blanchard said: “Ray started work with Dr. Irving Langmuir’s group, along with Vince Schaefer and Bernie Vonnegut, in December 1946, just a few months after Vince’s landmark discovery of dry-ice cloud seeding. Soon after I joined the group, which by that time was named Project Cirrus, Ray and I shared the penthouse in the new GE Research Laboratory at the Knolls. Ray was a one-man weather station. He had a long line of strip-chart recorders humming away day after day to record wind speed, temperature, pressure, sunshine, cloud cover, and other things I can’t remember. On top of that, every day he received several weather maps from the weather bureau. All were dutifully studied to make forecasts both for the lab and for cloud seeding missions.”

Born in Vermont, Falconer got his start as a weather forecaster at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire. Falconer worked at the peak, known for its cold temperatures and gusty winds, from 1942 to 1946.

After Schaefer started the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC) at the University at Albany in 1961, Falconer became the center’s first full-time employee. By 1968, the foursome of Schaefer, Falconer, Blanchard and Vonnegut was reunited at ASRC, Blanchard recalled.

“Ray was the one who planned for and took charge of running the ASRC’s Whiteface Mountain Field Station, and it was there that he started what became a highly successful summer lecture series on natural history,” said Blanchard. “As if that weren’t enough, Ray got up every day at the crack of dawn to prepare and call in weather forecasts to six or more radio stations. These forecasts were heard by about a half million listeners. By 1987 he had phoned in 55,000 forecasts. Imagine that!”

At the time of his retirement from the University in 1983, Falconer was a senior research associate.

During his long and distinguished career, Falconer won the 1964 Seal of Approval from the American Meteorological Society for radio weathercasting; the 1980 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service; the 1987 Citizen of the University Award from the Alumni Association; and the 1988 Award for Outstanding Service by a broadcast meteorologist from the American Meteorological Society.

At the end of his remarks, Blanchard read from a story he wrote about Falconer 20 years ago.

“Ray Falconer is much more than a weather forecaster. He is an institution. He is a happening. He is the voice of the ASRC. Every morning, five days a week, he is up long before the first rays of the sun peek over the Berkshire Hills. He wrestles with the weather charts and prepares forecasts for several areas of upper New York State. Shortly after sunup, his voice is heard in many thousands of homes as radios are clicked on to hear the Falconer forecast. These people would no more miss what Ray has to say about the weather than they would their morning cup of coffee. Ray’s been making these radio forecasts since 1962, both morning and evening, and he figures by now he has done nearly 50,000 separate forecasts. That, I submit, should make an institution out of anybody,” Blanchard said.

Falconer is survived by his wife, Marion, and son, Philip. Memorial contributions may sent to the music program at the Burnt Hills United Methodist Church, 816 Saratoga Road, Burnt Hills, N.Y., 12027.


Raymond Falconer

UAlbany In The News
By Lisa James Goldsberry

The December 30 issue of The New York Times featured an article written by Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public policy. The article, titled “The Nation: Guns and Butter; Government Can Run More Than a War,” discussed war and domestic programs.

The January 1 issue of The Washington Post quoted David Carpenter of the School of Public Health. “Monsanto Hid Decades of Pollution: PCBs Drenched Alabama Town But No One was Ever Told,” listed Carpenter as an expert witness for the plaintiffs of Anniston in Monsanto County and a leading advocate of the EPA’s plans to dredge the Hudson River. He stated that PCB levels for people in Anniston were 10 times higher than for people near the Hudson River.

The December 30 edition of The New York Times quoted John Logan of the sociology department. The article, titled “Neighborhood Report: Elmhurst; In Little Argentina, Transplants Watch as Their Homeland Unravels,” discussed the current problems in Argentina and whether an area in New York known as Argentine Corner will see an influx of immigrants now.

The January 14 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted George Aaron Broadwell of the anthropology department. “Spreading the Words: At CMU, Scientists Join Forces to Create a Program That Will Help Small Tribes Preserve Their Vanishing Languages” discussed endangered languages. Broadwell, who is also chair of the Linguistic Society of America’s committee on endangered languages, said that if parents believe their language is important, they are more likely to speak it to their children.

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