University Update

VOLUME 22, NUMBER 11 — March 10, 1999


Fink Scholarship Honors Memory of Caring Public Servant
University Grows Safer, Yet Strives to Improve
SUNY Seeks SMART-NY Way to Boost Research
Women's Forum to Address Breast Cancer


Mission Review Forum Set
Speaker Endorses Clean Room
Exterior Stairway Revamp, Part II
Gender Viewed Globally
The Senate's Grad Fellowships
GSPA Has an Open House
Social Welfare Honors Founders


Trustees Approve New Guidelines for Review of Campus Presidents


Block Spreads His High Regard for Onion
A National Community Hero
Falk Advises on Decade of Behavior
Students Visiting from Denmark (photo)


Renee Sieber
Gilbert A. Valverde


Daniels - The Battlefield Where Urban Meets Rural
Hannan Leads Two Studies Linking Care Level to Stroke Survival


Jagdish Gangolly


Flavoring History Through Different Disciplines
Scholarships Give Students A Second Chance at Knowledge and a Degree


Alumni Stars Return to Campus for "Roadmap to Your Future Career"
1999 Alumni Association Winners Are Named


Women Nab ECAC Track Title
Merrimack Lends Dreary End to 14-14 Danes
Women's Hoops End 13-14; Two Make All-NECC


Fink Scholarship Honors Memory of Caring Public Servant

By Greta Petry

Supported by a $100,000 grant from the Bell Atlantic Foundation, the University has announced the establishment of a legislative internship in memory of the late Stanley Fink, former Speaker of the New York State Assembly.

"What better way to honor the memory of Stanley Fink’s extensive leadership abilities in both public office and private business than to set up a unique legislative internship — which is the result of a cooperative effort between public higher education and private enterprise," said President Hitchcock. "How appropriate that this scholarship will be reserved for our very best students, those with the potential to give so much back to government, the business world, and to the community after graduation."

The new internship will be known as the Stanley Fink Legislative Internship. To be eligible for it, students must meet the academic requirements for the Dean’s List and have earned at least 56 academic credits at the University. In addition, the selection process will include consideration of the student’s financial need. The full-semester internship will carry a $5,000 scholarship, which is expected to cover most of the costs of the semester. Funds for the scholarship will be generated from the income from an endowment to be set up in memory of Fink, who was also a former senior executive with the Bell Atlantic (NYNEX) Corp.

"This internship perpetuates Stanley Fink’s commitment to New York State, whether he was leading the state legislature or guiding public policy of the state’s largest private employer," said Paul A. Crotty, group president for Bell Atlantic New York/Connecticut. "Stanley left a lasting impression with everyone who knew him and, through this scholarship, his influence is guaranteed to continue for years to come."

The University has offered internship programs for undergraduate students in both the public and private sectors for many years. Each year, between 60 and 70 undergraduates participate in such programs with the New York’s Assembly and Senate. The University also has a Washington D.C. semester program.

"Assembly Speaker Stanley Fink was indeed a brilliant and much beloved leader who led us through a very important period in the Assembly’s history," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who as a freshman member of the Assembly was mentored by Speaker Fink. "This scholarship will encourage people to follow in his path and keep his legacy alive through their public service contributions to the people of New York State."

"Stanley’s greatest strength was his love for the people of New York," said Silver. "If there were two words to describe him, they are ‘He cared.’ This scholarship will be a testament to his good name."

The internship will be administered by Ivan Edelson, director of University-wide Internship Programs, who has also been involved with the establishment of this internship from the beginning.

University Grows Safer, Yet Strives to Improve

By Lisa James

The University’s efforts to steadily decrease crime both on and off campus are having their effect. As reported in a recent article in the Albany Times Union, Albany has become one of the safest campuses in the state.

According to SUNY statistics, the crime rate at Albany has dropped approximately 30 percent in the last four years. Overall crime dropped from 894 reports in 1997 to 874 in 1998, continuing a marked decrease from 1,234 reports in 1994 and 1,121 in 1995.

This change is due, in part, to the University’s civilian security program and other community policing efforts, according to University Police Department (UPD) Chief Frank Wiley. He cited posters promoting safety, police officers on round-the-clock patrols, and programs such as "Don’t Walk Alone."

Nevertheless, incidence of students who report crimes that did not occur has recently been the focus of attention on this campus, as it has been across the nation. Reports on campus alleging assault crimes on Feb. 16 and Feb. 20 were both withdrawn on Feb. 25, but only after UPD had conducted extensive investigations and used the forensics laboratory of the New York State Police. Both female students making the false reports were offered counseling and referred to the University’s judicial system.

In the past 18 months, police on campuses such as Duke University and the University of Georgia have investigated crimes that turned out to be hoaxes. But this situation is not limited to college campuses. In an article in the Jan. 8, 1999, edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Dennis M. O’Keefe, chief of police for the city of St. Cloud, Minn., said, "About two percent of the crime reports in the U.S. are false," and that the situation extends to college campuses.

Yet Wiley noted that more students are now comfortable and cooperative with police officers at Albany. "We’ve established a community policing model which emphasizes high visibility and high impact," said UPD Chief Frank Wiley. "We’re extremely proud of the success we’ve had." In a letter to the University community, Wiley wrote, "The safety of the campus can only be maintained by an effective partnership between the University Police and all member of our community."

Among new UPD initiatives are "Rape Aggression Defense" instructor training; Operation Nightlight, which offers enhanced visibility of vehicle patrols; a satellite office at Alumni Quad; enhanced "blue lights" for emergency phones; and a liaison with Student Safety Patrol.


SUNY Seeks SMART-NY Way to Boost Research

By Vinny Reda

The time to push again for investment in State University of New York research has arrived, said more than 200 research scientists, college presidents, high-tech industry leaders and state officials gathered at the State Museum on Feb. 24. They met to kick-off a proposal for SMART-NY, a focused research investment program launched by SUNY and Cornell University.

Even as Gov. George Pataki called for more research funding — including new funding for the Center for Advanced Technology at Albany — SMART-NY proponents said even greater resources are needed to recruit top-notch faculty and graduate students and to create the research facilities needed to keep pace with increasing allotments in federal research funding.

"The SMART-NY Conference was the first time the University Centers, Cornell, the Health Science Centers, and the SUNY Provost’s office have worked together to point out the value of investing in university research to strengthen New York’s economic development," said University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Judy Genshaft.

"University researchers and New York business leaders presented clear examples of how basic and applied research have resulted in business growth and development. It was exciting to see these university/business partnerships."

State funds to attract researchers and create new labs at SUNY and Cornell have stagnated at just over $50 million annually, said SUNY Provost Peter Salins and Cornell Provost Don Randel. "New York has not reaped the benefits that come from sustained growth in research spending," said Salins.

"When given the proper financial resources, our scientists have produced not only significant research discoveries, but also research that has led to new products, new industries and hundreds of thousands of jobs for New York State," he added.

Randel cited Albany’s CESTM as a prime example of such achievement and added that states are now joining with their higher education institutions to pursue federal research funds as never before, and that SMART-NY will provide support to increase essential collaboration between private institutions like Cornell and public universities.

From 1987-89, the Legislature passed the Graduate Education and Research Initiative (GRI), which called for an annual investment of $16.9 million in appropriations to SUNY over five years to achieve similar aims as SMART-NY’s. Due to the state’s growing budget crisis, however, GRI allotments were reduced to $11 million, $7.2 million and $5 million over the first three years, and funding ceased thereafter.

Under SMART-NY, the state would double its research allocation within five years. By helping draw more federal research dollars, more economic activity would result, said Salins, opining that a 15 percent share of NIH funding would bring the state $2 billion more by 2006.

Women’s Forum to Address Breast Cancer

The issue of breast cancer and how to help those we care about regarding the disease will be addressed when the University’s Initiatives For Women presents its 6th Annual Winter Forum, this year in partnership with Siena College, on Wednesday, March 24, at 5:30 p.m. in the Alumni House.

This year’s topic is "Frightened About Breast Cancer?: Listen, Ask, and Learn about What You Haven’t Been Told." The panelists for the discussion will be Bonnie Spanier of the University’s Department of Women’s Studies, Patricia Brown, a professor in the biology department at Siena College, Joan Sheehan, a survivor and advocate, and Rabi Musa of Albany’s Department of Chemistry.

President Hitchcock will give a welcoming statement. A light supper will be provided at the event, which is free and open to the public. To reserve a place, call 442-5415.


Mission Review Forum Set

Earlier this year, the SUNY provost initiated a formal process for reviewing and affirming the mission of each campus, requiring all campuses to negotiate their particular mission with System Administration.

The process begins with text submitted by each campus to a series of questions from the Provost. Albany’s draft text for mission review can be seen at, with a final version submitted later this month.

A public forum will be held in Milne 200 on Thursday, March 11, at noon to discuss the draft document. Comments, suggested additions or revisions to the Mission Review draft may be directed to William B. Hedberg in the Provost’s Office, AD 203, 442-4000, email

Speaker Endorses Clean Room

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has come out in support of a "clean room" for the proposed $275 million addition to the University’s CESTM.

Silver, speaking to an Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Feb. 23, said the Assembly will include funds in its budget for the addition of the clean room, used to remove microscopic impurities in the manufacture of computer chips. Total cost of the facility has been estimated at $35 million. Silver, while not specifying a dollar-amount of support, said, "I pledge to support the development of this second-generation technology."

Exterior Stairway Revamp, Part II

Elena McCormick, project manager, has announced reconstruction of the exterior stairs on the south side of the podium will take place during the summer of 1999. Demolition will begin on May 31, and the project is expected to be finished by Sept. 30. Signs will be posted approximately 20 days prior to reconstruction for alternate pedestrian access and routing around construction. Comments and concerns should be addressed to McCormick at

Gender Viewed Globally

The Center for Latino, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CELAC) has an-nounced "Gender in Global Perspective: A Graduate Training Program," aimed at providing and institutionalizing support a global view of gender studies.

Fellowships are available for M.A. degree students who specialize in women’s studies and other fields that offer the opportunity for gender-focused specialties. Students who have been admitted to the University’s M.A. program for Fall ’99 semester are not eligible to apply. Fellowships include academic year tuition and a stipend of $8,000. A faculty mentor will be assigned to each student and awardees will be required to participate in a Gender in Global Perspective faculty-student discussion group and project-sponsored lectures.

The project is administered by CELAC in conjunction with the Institute for Research on Women (IROW). For additional information and an application form, write: Dr. Edna Acosta-Belen, Director, CELAC, SS250. Students may obtain an application directly from CELAC’s Website:

The Senate’s Grad Fellowships

The New York State Senate is offering Graduate/Post-Graduate Fellowships for 1999-2000 intended to equip talented individuals with an intimate knowledge of New York State Government, and to attract these individuals to public service careers. The program starts on Sept. 16, 1999, and ends on July 19, 2000. The application deadline is May 7, 1999.

Each Fellow receives a fully taxable stipend of $25,000 and is eligible for certain benefits. Fellows do not earn vacation or personal leave. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled full-time (12 credits, minimum).

In addition to Legislative Fellows, the Senate sponsors the Richard J. Roth Journalism Fellowship for applicants in pursuit of careers in Journalism/Public Relations. A third Fellowship — the Richard A. Wiebe Public Service fellowship — is for individuals with exceptional leadership skills for placement in a high-level leadership office.

For applications, requirements, and additional information, contact Joseph F. Zimmerman, the campus liaison officer, at 442-5298 or 429-9440, email, and by mail at 288 Richardson Hall.

GSPA Has an Open House

The University’s Graduate School of Public Affairs at Rockefeller College will hold an Open House on Thursday, March 11, from 3 to 6:30 p.m. in Milne Hall, Room 200, on the Downtown Campus. It is free and open to those interested in public service.

Faculty and administrators of the School will be on hand to answer questions about graduate certificate programs, masters in public policy and public administration programs, and doctorate in public administration degrees. The Graduate School of Public Affairs is the only accredited program in the Capital District offering degrees in this field.

Social Welfare Honors Founders

By Carol Olechowski

When its first classes were held in late 1963, the University's School of Social Welfare had just one faculty member. In late March, faculty, administrators, students, and alumni will gather to honor the memory of that faculty member, Jane Keigher Ives, and of Elizabeth Wolff Heinmiller, a social worker who played an influential role in founding the School.

The Founders Program, "Vision, Persistence, Timing . . . and Luck," will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on March 26 at the Alumni House. It takes place during National Social Work Month. Professor Emerita Maureen C. Didier will be the featured speaker for the event, which will be followed by a reception. Among the guests slated to attend are the School's first dean, Charles O'Reilly, and Heinmiller's daughter, Katherine Shooks, who works in the University's computer operations unit. About 100 alumni and community members are expected to join them in paying tribute to Heinmiller and Ives. The event is free and open to the public.

Ives, who died in 1997 at the age of 80, was a graduate of the College of Saint Rose, Fordham University, and the University of Chicago. She came to the University after a varied career with such agencies as New York's departments of corrections and civil service, Catholic Charities, and the Schenectady County Board of Child Welfare. During World War II, she served with the Red Cross in France, the Philippines, and Japan, and was posted to Hiroshima shortly after the dropping of the atomic bomb on that city in 1945.

In 1963, Ives accepted the position of first faculty member at the School. She continued to teach there until 1976, when she retired as assistant dean.

Heinmiller, an alumna of the College of Saint Rose and Columbia University, was a social worker at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Albany who also was instrumental in founding the social welfare school. She also served as head of social work at St. Anne's Institute and as director of public health social work for the State Health Department, retiring from the latter position in 1975. A feasibility study and the involvement of the Northeast Region National Association of Social Workers were just two of the efforts Heinmiller undertook in helping to found the School. She died in 1998.

Established in 1963, the School of Social Welfare offers high-quality accredited bachelor's and master's offerings in social work. Those programs and its innovative Ph.D. in social welfare are recognized nationally for excellence.

For more information about the Founders Day program, contact Mary McCarthy at 442-5338.


Faculty Staff

Block Spreads His High Regard for Onion

By Greta Petry

Onions. We cook with them, peel away their layers, and enjoy the little dome-shaped vegetables that have been around ever since the Egyptians used them to treat patients with heart disease.

Now they are hot again, gaining international fame as the subject of a documentary television series, "Foodessence," that aired in January on the Canadian cable station Life Network and featured University professor of chemistry and onion expert Eric Block.

While the segment included interviews with chefs, owners of food markets, and general onion aficionados extolling the virtues of leeks and scallions, it allowed Block and other scientists to ground this praise in science and history.

At one point Block noted that the chemical compound sulfur gives the onion its pungent odor and "triggers a profusion of tears" in those who are chopping it. He likens the potency of an onion to that of a skunk, noting that all it takes to smell an onion is "one molecule of sulfur in a billion molecules of air."

The show took a light-hearted look at the various remedies people use to avoid crying while chopping onions. These include holding a piece of bread in one’s mouth while chopping, putting a clothespin on one’s nose, holding one’s breath, frequently rinsing the onion under cold water, or, cutting the root last.

Once again adding the scholarly touch, Block was shown discussing books dating to the 17th Century that note onions were used to treat gunshot wounds, dog bites and insect stings. And he enhances our aesthetic regard for this bulbous herb by noting how its symmetrical shape and the iridescent quality of its skin lent to use in still life paintings by Renoir and Cezanne. Block also explained the architectural significance of the onion, noting how onion-shaped domes were first used in Persia, then in the Russian Orthodox churches and the Taj Mahal in India, and are a fixture on the classical architectural scene.

Block did a Life Network documentary a year ago on on garlic.

A National Community Hero

The Association for Community Organization and Social Administration, which functions internationally as a special interest group supporting the social work profession and social work education, has awarded Julian Chow of the School of Welfare its prestigious Emerging Scholar Award for 1999.

Since beginning his doctoral work at Case Western Reserve University in the mid 1980s, Chow has been actively involved in the community as well as in his research. Among his many accomplishments is the Cleveland CAN DO system, a community database in which people can access a myriad of community services. It became the prototype that has been disseminated nationally for numerous urban areas.

In addition, Chow’s current research seeks to help some of society’s more unfortunate members by strengthening the effectiveness of mental health services through the use of "Geographic Information Systems" technology.

Falk Advises on Decade of Behavior

An initiative that aims to advance the understanding and awareness of the contributions of behavioral and social science research to health, safety and education will include in its front ranks Dean Falk of the Department of Anthropology.

Falk has been chosen to serve on the 12-member National Advisory Committee of the "Decade of Behavior," a 10-year initiative of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Falk will join a renowned group of scholars and researchers chosen from universities and research institutions across the nation in an effort by the APA to inform the nation, and in particular federal funding agencies and Congress, of the critical value of behavioral science research in addressing national problems.

New Faces

Renée Sieber

By Theresa Poon

A distinguished scholar, honored citizen and former entrepreneur in computer consulting, Renée Sieber joined the Department of Geography and Planning last semester with credentials both in academia and public life.

"Dr. Sieber brings to our department diversity, her own skills and uniqueness," said Christopher J. Smith, department chair. "She makes up the fourth member of our department’s planning program, which creates a major support to the graduate planning program’s ongoing accreditation process with the Planning Accreditation Board. The Board’s site visit here was just last month."

Sieber earned her Ph.D. in urban planning from Rutgers University in New Jersey, where she was the winner of Rutgers Graduate Scholars Award (1991-93), as well as recipient of its 1991 Russell Fellowship. She co-instructed two courses at Rutgers’ department of urban studies and planning on community development research and policy, and computer applications in urban planning, and also was a staff member of the Center for Urban Policy Research in 1995-96. She was a visiting assistant professor at Albany in the 1997-98 school year.

Sieber received her M.P.A. from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich., and while a resident was an active community member. Her memberships included ones on the Kalamazoo City Environmental Planning Committee (1987), the Vine Neighbor-hood Public Safety Committee (1987), and the Vine Neighborhood Association (1988). Her efforts earned her both a distinguished citizen award from the City of Kalamazoo in 1987 and the Kalamazoo Star newspaper’s "volunteer of the year" award. In addition, she received a $200,000 grant from the Michigan Neighborhood Builders Alliance.

"Planning is a field which is very much involved with working with the community," said Smith. "Dr. Sieber will be a very important link into building and extending connections within the University as well as the local community of Albany," said Smith.

Besides having credentials in planning, Sieber possesses a strong interest in and aptitude with computer technology, namely, Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Most of Sieber’s career efforts, including numerous published articles, have focused on the "fusion" of community/environmental planning with the computer technology that exists today. "Appointing someone in planning and with a concentration in GIS is particularly important for the school’s reputation and ability to recruit and retain students," said the department’s Ray Bromley. Sieber has also reviewed books on planning for the Journal of the American Planning Association.

From 1986-91, prior to her studies at Rutgers, she founded SieberNetics Computer Consulting, a company that dealt with hardware and software training and consultation, computer modeling, software programming, hardware construction and installation.

"Dr. Sieber is a role model for women here and in other institutions, where faculty members in fields like mathematics and computers are predominantly men," said Smith. "We feel her expertise in computers and in her field brings both greater diversity to our department and great benefits to our students."

Sieber is currently teaching three courses in the University: "Introduction to GIS," "Urban Community Development," and "CADD," a course in animated architecture, which has doubled its student enrollment since Sieber joined the department. She is also actively applying for grant money for research in GIS and its applications.

Gilbert A. Valverde

By Suzanne Grudzinski

This past September, the University’s Department of Educational Administration and Policy Studies welcomed distinguished scholar Gilbert Valverde to the faculty.

Frederick Dembowski, chair of the department, says that Valverde, "has great potential for providing leadership in program evaluation, assessment, and standards. Right now he is teaching courses in all these areas."

Valverde earned his B.A. from the Universidad de Costa Rica in 1986 and his doctoral degree from the University of Chicago in 1994. He was the recipient of an honors scholarship at Costa Rica and a recipient of the "Century Scholarship" while attending the University of Chicago. There, he was also a member of the Board of Student Editors for the American Journal of Education.

Valverde is affiliated with the American Educational Research Association and with the Comparative and International Education Society. His past experiences include serving as the associate director and senior researcher of the U.S. Research Center for the Third International Mathematics and Science Study, a 50-nation study of mathematics and science education, conducted at Michigan State University. Valverde also contributed to the first published report of U.S. participation in the study.

Also, while at Michigan State, Valverde served as associate director for the Survey of Mathematics and Science Opportunities, a multidisciplinary, multinational research project blending quantitative and qualitative methodologies. It focused on investigating math and science curriculum policy, teaching, and classroom practices in France, Japan, Norway, Spain, the U.S. and Switzerland. He also co-authored the first published report of this study.

With a strong background in international and comparative education, Valverde has done extensive consulting in South America, serving as adviser to the ministries of education in Chile and Ecuador. Fluent in English and Spanish and widely published in both languages, he has been the keynote speaker at numerous educational conferences in the U.S. and in South America.

NASA has also sought out Valverde’s services as a consultant for the "classroom of the future." He advised on evaluation and standards for NASA’s Challenges in Applied Mathematics and Physics curriculum project.

Dembowski noted that Valverde is, "very active and student-oriented. He serves as an excellent role model for students. He has jumped right in taking large student advisement and dissertation advisement loads." Valverde is also involved with SUNY Central in working on program-quality assessment for various SUNY campuses — of potential importance for both the University and all of SUNY, said Dembowski.


Students from Torring Amtsgymnasium in Denmark visited the campus and the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures on March 2. The group was invited by department faculty member Anne Marfey (second from right), who teaches an independent study course in Danish at the University. All Danish students go abroad with their teachers once during their three years at gymnasium (secondary school) "to get a broader spectrum of the world," says Marfey.

In Print

The Battlefield Where Urban Meets Rural

by Lisa James

As traditional rural industries give way to residential and commercial development, the land at the edges of developed areas — the rural-urban fringe — is becoming the middle landscape between city and countryside that the suburbs once were.

In When City and Country Collide: Managing Growth in the Metropolitan Fringe, Tom Daniels of the Department of Geography and Planning examines the fringe phenomenon and presents a practical approach to assisting more compact development. It provides a viable alternative to traditional land use and development practices and offers a solid framework and rational perspective for wider adoption of growth management techniques. Daniels uses case studies from cities such as Albuquerque N.M., and the Twin Cities area in Minnesota to illustrate this significant issue.

The book addresses problems caused by unplanned growth in the battlefield where urban meets rural — 10-40 miles outside of major urban areas where traditional rural industries of farming, forestry, and mining are rapidly giving way to residential and service-oriented development. The implications for accommodating economic and population growth pressures, as well as issues of environmental quality and competitiveness in the global economy, are extreme. As the country’s population and economy expand, the challenges of managing growth in the fringe will become more heated and complex.

"I wanted to bring attention to the spread and impact of sprawl throughout the United States and show what some places are doing to control sprawl," said Daniels, a new member of the University faculty this past fall. He said he dedicated the book "to those who work to keep America a good place to live, now and for future generations."

Published by Island Press, the book is already being judged an important work for planners and students of planning, policymakers, elected officials, and citizens working to minimize sprawl. Thomas Hylton, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Save Our Land, Save Our Towns says, "America’s 50-year drift into ugly, sprawling development patterns has been tragic but not inevitable. Tom Daniels’ new book — concise, comprehensive, and well-organized — offers proven methods to bring order to the urban fringe and protect our countryside."

Daniels, who received his Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from Oregon State University, is director of the University’s masters program in planning. He is also the co-author of The Small Town Planning Handbook, and Holding Our Ground: Protecting America’s Farms and Farmland. Before joining the University, he was director of the Agricultural Preserve Board of Lancaster County, Penn., for nine years, and an associate professor at Kansas State University. 

Hanan Leads Two Studies Linking Care Level to Stroke Survival

By Vinny Reda

Edward L. Hannan, chair of the Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior in the School of Public Health, is the lead participant in one recent study and second researcher in a second that deal with in-hospital mortality rates from carotid endarterectomy, a preventive procedure for stroke.

There have been many studies in medical and health service research journals about the relationship between the outcomes of the care patients with a specific procedure and the number of patients with the type treated per physician or surgeon or per hospital. The purpose of the "Relationship between Provider Volume and Mortality for Carotid Endarterectomies in New York State,"published in American Heart Association journal Stroke, was to determine the relationship between each of two provider-volume measures for carotid endarterectomies — annual hospital volume and annual surgeon volume — and in-hospital mortality.

Hannan and his colleagues used New York’s Statewide Planning and Research administrative database to identify patients for whom carotid endarterectomy was the main procedure performed in the state’s hospitals between Jan. 1, 1990, and Dec. 31, 1995. Using age, admissions status, and several conditions found to be associated with high in-hospital mortality among these patients, a statistical model was developed. This was then used to determine risk-adjusted mortality rates for different hospital and surgeon volume ranges.

The study found that the in-hospital mortality rates for carotid endarterectomies were higher in hospitals with low volumes and when performed by surgeons with extremely low annual volumes compared to the in-hospital rates of higher-volume hospitals and surgeons. This did not change even when the hospital and surgeon took pre-procedural patient severity of illness into account.

Clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of carotid endarterectomy in the prevention of stroke when the procedure is performed in regional centers of surgical excellence. But whether or not these studies drew patients to these preferred centers for the procedure was unclear. Hannan and his colleagues therefore conducted the study, "The Fall and Rise of Carotid Endarterectomy in the United States and Canada," published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

They looked at annual rates of carotid endarter-ectomy in New York, California, and the Canadian province of Ontario from 1983 to 1995. They then studied and whether or not patients in the early 1990s were referred to hospitals with high volumes of procedures and low in-hospital mortality rates.

The study found that after published studies from 1984 to 1989 showed that the rates of complications for the procedure were unacceptably high, the rates of carotid endarterectomy fell in all three of the regions.

Then, during the 1990s, after clinical trials showed benefits from carotid endarterectomy, rates of the procedure rose — but not because of a greater number of referrals of patients to hospitals with low mortality rates.

The rise and fall of the procedure in the U.S. and Canada corresponds with publication of favorable and non-favorable studies, Hannan’s study concluded. But the lack of selective referrals of patients to low mortality rated hospitals raises the question about whether the advantages of carotid endarterectomy are similar to those proven in clinical trials.


Flavoring History through Different Disciplines 

By Suzanne Grudzinski

University undergraduates now have the opportunity to participate in a new course where world issues are brought to life. Julian Zelizer of the Department of History conceptualized the core for "Public Policy in Modern America Since 1935" while still in graduate school and he put his plan into action this past year.

The course, part of the University’s General Education Program, explores the historical development of U.S. domestic policies. The intention of this exploration, explains Zelizer, is, "to make public policy accessible and exciting to undergraduate students so that they realize the impact that it has on their own lives."

Current political debate over heated issues such as social welfare, civil rights, economics, and health care take on new light when looked at in terms of past political knowledge, according to Zelizer. He said he wants students to realize how the federal government has come to assert so much power over the people and how this assertion affects institutions, culture, and policymaking.

Zelizer adds that the course, "brings history together and flavors it for students by contrasting different disciplines." Interdisciplinary guest lecturers such as Nancy Denton of the Department of Sociology offer a sociologist’s view. Others, such as Jim Wyckoff, Irene Lurie, and Jim Fossett of the Department of Public Administration and Policy, each offer a policy analyst’s perspective. Each contribution is of value because contrasting perspectives provide a new point from which to build on old ideas.

Guest lecturers are also important because they talk about their research. "I am trying to bring more research into the classroom so that students can learn from it," said Zelizer. "Learning and research are not only compatible, but are integral to each other." He cited computer technology as another component of this and said it is used in the class to improve historical knowledge of the development of public policy.

Current events are focal points for class discussion and each class starts with three or four short student presentations on a current news issue. Zelizer notes that this is good practice in public speaking and builds confidence, which is crucial to functioning within political circles.

"Many students choose to come to Albany for the political opportunities that are available and this course is a good foundation for that," he said. "Students are incredibly engaged in the class and the materials. They show enthusiasm and have not shied away from difficult issues such as taxation." This enthusiasm is so contagious that Zelizer’s colleagues have shown significant support by generously volunteering their time to speak at his classes.

Scholarships Give Students a Second Chance at Knowledge and a Degree

By Suzanne M. Grudzinski

Four years ago, at age 41, Fred Plant decided to leave his job as a self-employed painting and wallpaper contractor and return to school to pursue a 20-year interest in policymaking at the University. Finances, however, were a problem as Plant laid plans to earn a degree in public policy and political science. Besides tuition, there were the added costs of a daily commute from Saugerties, 50 miles one way, and the cost of numerous books.

"There have been points along the way where I questioned if it was financially possible to continue with my education. Gas, tolls, and books were issues that I could not have met at the time," said Plant, who transferred to the University after receiving his two-year degree from Ulster Community College in 1997.

Then, through his Educational Opportunities Program advisor, Latonia Spencer, Plant learned about the University’s Second Chance Scholarships, designed to provide financial support for those students who demonstrate a need. Plant, who will graduate in May, applied for and received one of ten Second Chance Scholarships offered each semester.

Plant says that the staff’s involvement and commitment to help has also made him aware of many different opportunities. Last spring, Plant had the opportunity to work as a legislative intern for Assemblyman John Guerin of the 101st district in Ulster County. His experience was so successful that he continued to work for Guerin even after his internship. Plant now has a job working three days a week for Harold Brown of the 121st Assembly District representing Onondaga County, which he balances with the 13 credits that he needs to graduate.

"The scholarship really made the difference in meeting those issues that I was not able to at the time. I reached a point where I was asking myself financially if I could do it. This has enabled me to," added Plant.

The University has a two-year involvement in the Second Chance program, which was established four years ago by the Joseph J. Mastrangelo & Ralph Arnold Foundation. Over this time, the University has awarded $30,000 in Second Chance Scholarships. In all, 30 students have been named recipients and ten more scholarships will be offered for the Spring Semester, according to Carson Carr, Associate Dean of Academic Support, who oversees the program.

The Second Chance Scholarship has also helped Ana Almonte to continue with her education. Almonte, a Spanish major who completed her undergraduate work this December and is continuing on with her master’s degree at the University, faced similar financial concerns as a returning adult student. "Educational needs add up," she said. "Only when you take everything into account, the books, the photocopying, the travel expenses, do you realize the considerable financial strain that you are dealing with."

Being chosen as a scholarship recipient has also given Almonte, who plans to teach Spanish, the encouragement to build and strengthen relationships with faculty. She adds that this involvement will help her tremendously as she continues with her education by providing her with an academic and emotional support system and a system through which to network.

Carr said most recipients are older students juggling many different demands while trying to earn their degree at the same time. "This program is valuable," he added, "because we see more and more students having to drop out of school because they don’t have the financial means to continue." Carr added that each student’s economic need stems from a situation particular to that individual. "We have one student who is a single parent to four children, yet manages to commute 70 miles each way to the University every day. He maintains good grades and keeps up with all of his youngsters. I am deeply humble to be able to acknowledge this student and provide him with some resources in his quest to get a degree," said Carr.

The University is the latest addition to the program, which was started at Hudson Valley Community College in 1995 and soon branched out to include St. Rose, Maria College, Schenectady Community College, and Empire State College. Soon after St. Rose started receiving funding, the Foundation stipulated that all funds provided by it must be matched by the institution. The monetary award, which ranges from $500 to $1,500, is based on grade-point average and the number of courses in which a student is enrolled. Matching funds now come from private donations made each year by about 90 members of the University’s faculty and staff. In the two years that the program has been active, students have received in excess of $30,000, half of which was raised by the University community.

Plant says he himself soon hopes to be able to help support the Second Chance Scholarship. "I don’t expect to be in the situation I am in long-term. This scholarship is something I will contribute to in the future, hoping I can help someone in a similar situation the way I have been helped."

Excellence in Teaching

Jagdish Gangolly

By Carol Olechowski

As a young man in his native India, Jagdish Gangolly of the University’s Department of Accounting and Law embarked upon a business career. Four years in the pulp and paper and soft-drink franchising industries "dispelled any doubts that I may have had about my aspirations to be a teacher," he said. "I have never since regretted what would seem to a business executive to be a vow of poverty, of sorts."

Gangolly, who earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematical statistics from the University of Bombay and a master’s degree in operations research from Calcutta’s Indian Institute of Manage-ment, knew that, "even as a young kid, I wanted to be a teacher. Perhaps it was the influence of my father, who was primarily a researcher but did supervise graduate students." Gangolly also holds a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business.

Prior to his arrival at Albany, Gangolly taught at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Kansas, Claremont McKenna College and the Claremont Graduate School in California, and California State University at Fullerton. With the exception of three years spent teaching on the West Coast in the mid 1980s, he has been an Albany faculty member since 1979. Now an associate professor of accounting and management science and information systems in the School of Business, Gangolly is also a senior program faculty member in the information science Ph.D. program.

Over the years, Gangolly’s papers have appeared in such publications as the Journal of Accounting Research; Auditing: Journal of Practice & Theory; the Journal of the Operational Research Society; Critical Perspectives on Accounting; Expert Systems with Applications: An International Journal; and Artificial Intelligence in Accounting and Auditing. He currently serves on the editorial board of the journal Issues in Accounting Education, which is published by the American Accounting Association.

His current research efforts focus primarily on the areas of "conceptual information retrieval and knowledge organization in accounting. In addition, "I have collateral research interests in the relationships between accounting and legal philosophy."

He is also very active in University service. Says Gangolly: "I have served on all sorts of committees both here at Albany and at professional organizations such as the American Accounting Association and the Institute of Internal Auditors. I also have organized research conferences." A past member of Albany’s President’s Budget Panel and the Libraries and Information Systems Council (LISC), Gangolly has served on "practically every School of Business committee at some time." His past community involvements have included service as the regional coordinator for the Artificial Intelligence/Emerging Technologies section of the American Accounting Association, and as a member of the board of governors of the Albany chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Although Gangolly is committed to his University and community service, research, and publishing, his greatest joy comes from "learning new things every day, interacting with students, and deciding myself what problems I want to work on." He is pleased that "many of my past students are partners or senior partners in reputable firms. Seeing my students blossom into business leaders makes it all worthwhile."

Gangolly has enjoyed his University at Albany years, "even though it has meant a bi-coastal marriage for me. Albany has given me freedom to work across disciplines that most accounting departments in the country frown upon. We have a unique opportunity in my department to set the standard for excellence in graduate education in accounting information systems, and I fully intend to participate in it."

Among his greatest achievements, Gangolly feels, are "the establishment of the new Arthur Andersen Laboratory for Accounting Systems and the newly started concentration in accounting information systems in our master’s program. Today, the laboratory is the most advanced of any accounting systems lab in the country. And our curriculum in accounting information systems is the envy of most universities. I routinely get inquiries about the curriculum from those who would like to replicate it."

In order to enhance his effectiveness as a teacher, Gangolly has made his courses "state of the art and interdisciplinary," so that they "provide a broad perspective without being superficial." He notes: "I started teaching via the web back in 1994 and introduced newsgroups in 1995. I intend to introduce streaming video soon and would like to get into distance education one of these days.

"I believe things are best learnt by doing," observes Gangolly. "I look at our systems lab as a sort of sandbox for our graduate students to play in. Let the eager students loose in the sandbox, and what they do will surprise you. I have been fascinated by the kind of work they have turned in."

Alumni News

Alumni Stars Return to Campus for "Roadmap to Your Future Career"

More than 20 notable alumni will be returning to campus on Saturday, March 20, for the 2nd Annual Alumni Student Leadership conference, "Roadmap to Your Future Career." The impressive slate of alumni includes keynote speaker Nick Henny ’73, executive vice president and CFO of SONY Corporation of America and president of SONY Capital Corporation. For the past three years, Henny has served as national chair of the University’s Annual Fund.

The conference celebrates the successful outcomes of a University at Albany education. It provides a forum for students to benefit from the expertise of alumni who share their personal experiences and career advice with them throughout the day. It also creates an opportunity for current students to establish a connection with individuals working in their chosen fields of interest.

In addition to the keynote by Henny, the conference will feature a panel of distinguished alumni representing several professional fields:

  • Information Science - Mike Fagan ’86, president, MokoNet Inc.;
  • Business - Robin Fiddle ’89, owner, Twin Computer Training Inc.;
  • Counseling/Social Welfare - Dawn Knight-Thomas MSW ’97, director of Liberty Partnership, Center for Women in Government, University at Albany;
  • Education - Jerry Rivera-Wilson ’92, director, Academy for Initial Teacher Preparation, University at Albany;
  • Publishing/Journalism - Rosemary Herbert ’72, author and columnist, Boston Herald; and
  • Law/Government - Sean Thompson ’90, executive director, Deputy Assembly Campaign Committee.
  • Following the panel, students will have the opportunity to join career-specific breakout groups to discuss their questions in more in-depth fashion with several alumni in each field. A networking lunch and afternoon reception round out the program and will provide ample opportunity for alumni and students to interact with one another.

    Students may still register for the conference by contacting the Alumni Affairs office at 442-3080. The conference is being sponsored by the Alumni Association, Purple & Gold, the Student Association and University Auxiliary Services. For more information regarding the conference, contact Megan Downing Hyland ’92, ’96, at 442-3087.

    1999 Alumni Association Winners Are Named

    The Alumni Association has announced its 1999 Award Winners, recommended by a committee of alumni, faculty and staff and approved by the Association’s board of directors. The awardees will be honored on Friday, June 4, as part of Alumni Weekend.

    Distinguished Alumni Award: "To honor alumni who have displayed distinctive achievements in their profession or field of endeavor and/or outstanding service to society or their community."

    Bonnie Adkins ’49. Devoting her life to volunteer work, she has, through local church activities, refugee resettlement, Native American Outreach ministries, peace ministries, youth education and women’s causes, labored to build schools, clinics and other facilities in Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean.

    Dr. Benjamin Button ’54. A general practitioner and orthopedic surgeon at St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam from 1963 to 1990, since retirement he has traveled for months at a time, at his own expense, to remote areas of the world, such as Rwanda, Sudan and Zambia, to provide medical assistance in mission hospitals, clinics and relief areas.

    Susanne Murphy Dumbleton ’64, ’66, ’73. Her teaching career has spanned more than two decades, from Albany College of Pharmacy to Chicago’s DePaul University, where she currently is dean of the School for New Learning. In 1980, she co-founded Washington Park Press Ltd, which has published 10 books and co-published two others, including O, Albany by William Kennedy. She has still found time to mentor inner city youth.

    Jeffrey Mishkin Esq. ’69. Executive vice president and chief legal officer of the National Basketball Association, he has been involved in every important legal action concerning the NBA since joining the law firm of Proskauer Rose in 1973. An adjunct professor at Cardoza Law School, he has written and lectured extensively on sports law.

    The Honorable Richard Wesley ’71. In 1997, he was sworn in as an associate judge of New York’s Court of Appeals, the state’s top court. Since 1982, when elected to the State Assembly, he has exemplified the selfless and hard working individual committed to enhancing the lives of New York’s citizens.

    Brian Wing ’73. Since 1974, he has served with distinction in the executive and legislative branches of state government, and demonstrated leadership as executive director of the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, guiding the implementation of several key initiatives that have supported the state’s successful welfare reform efforts.

    Excellence in Alumni Service: "To recognize sustained leadership and service to the Alumni Association and/or the University."

    Theodore Anderson ’82, Esq. A civil trial attorney and shareholder at the Dallas, Texas, law firm Kilgore Kilgore, he was awarded the President’s Outstanding Young Alumni Service Award in 1992. He is a founder (1997) and current president of the first professional-based constituent group, the University at Albany Lawyers Associ-ation, which boasts a student-mentoring program, an alumni directory, and a credit-bearing conference for lawyer alumni.

    Jeffrey Black ’77. A partner with the worldwide accounting and auditing firm Arthur Andersen and Co, in 1990 he initiated the first-ever endowed professorship in the School of Business. He also was integral to the pledge by Arthur Andersen Alumni of $75,000 for the construction and equipping of the Arthur Andersen Alumni Computer Lab and he single-handedly created the Anderson Junior internship.

    Barry Z. Davis ’74, ’97. The class councilor for the Class of 1974, a past council chair, and a member of the University at Albany Alumni Association board since 1989, he currently serves as chair of one Association committee, co-chairs another, and is a member of two more. Co-founder of the Central New York Chapter of the association and the Social Work Consti-tuent Group, he is also the latter’s president.

    George Philip ’69, ’73. He has served on The University at Albany Foundation board since 1994, the Alumni Association board since 1995, and the University Council, which he currently chairs, since 1997. A substantive advocate for the University, he also now co-chairs the fundraising effort for the new University Library.

    Citizen of the University: "To salute non-alumni for exceptional leadership or service to the University community."

    Alain Kaloyeros. Professor of physics and director since 1993 of the Center for Advanced Thin Film Technology, he has been directly responsible for bringing approximately $50 million in external investment to the University. He maintains a strong commitment to students.

    Excellence in Teaching Award: "To pay tribute to alumni for extraordinary distinction in the teaching profession."

    Donald Dickinson, ’49. The founding director of the School of Information Resources and Library Science at the University of Arizona, many of his published works, including Henry E. Huntington’s Library of Libraries (1995), are regarded as indispensable in the field of library and information science.

    Gordon Muck ’64, ’66. Professor of biology at Corning Community College, he is known for creative teaching techniques and innovative labs. Applauded for his willingness to tutor, Muck is the founder of ESATYCB, the New York association of community college biologists.

    Bertha E. Brimmer Medal: "To honor alumni who demonstrate outstanding teaching ability at the secondary school level in New York State."

    Michelle Bloom ’67, ’82. The foreign language and art supervisor for the Guilderland School District, she is ardently committed to the improvement of foreign language education. Bloom has worked as a consultant for the NYS Department of Education and was past president of the NYS Association of Foreign Language Teachers.

    Harold Thornhill ’63. He has taught global studies at Koda Junior High in Clifton Park for 30 years, concentrating on Africa. He spent a two-year Peace Corps assignment in West Africa, and a sabbatical in Sierre Leone teaching in tribal schools, and has earned two Fulbright scholarships.


    Sports Talk

    Women Nab ECAC Track Title

    Janna Johnston set a school record in the pentathlon and Andrea Viger won the 5,000-meter run to lead Albany to the ECAC Div. II women’s indoor track and field championship on Feb. 28 at S. Connecticut St. University’s Moore Field House.

    Johnston scored 3,452 points in the five-event competition, and also placed third in the high jump. Viger, a junior, went 18:04.53 in the 5,000 to finish nearly two seconds ahead of runner-up Megan Seefeldt, of Kutztown University. The Great Danes outpointed Kutztown, 128 to 95.5, in the team standings.

    "We received outstanding performances from nearly everyone on our team," said Albany’s Roberto Vives, who was named the ECAC Coach of the Year.

    Xiomara Davila Diaz captured an ECAC title in the 55-meter high hurdles with a time of 8.02 seconds, and placed second in the 400-dash. Tara Bialy was a winner in the 55-dash (7.21).

    In the men’s competition, Albany was fourth overall behind champion Kutztown. Andy Rickert took second in the 5,000 (15:32.43), while Rob Naughter went 2:31.59 in the 1,000 to finish third. Tony Davidson was second in the 400, and a member of the winning 800-meter relay (1:33.27).

    TRACK NOTES: Ben Wright competed in the mile run at the 78th annual IC4A Division I indoor championships at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston on March 6 . . . Wright was 27th in 4:15.33 . . . Albany’s 4x800-meter relay finished 19th in 7:44.62, and was four-tenths of a second off the school record.

    Merrimack Lends Dreary End to 14-14 Danes

    Matt Gibson scored 23 points and Reginald Carter added 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead Merrimack past Albany, 76-62, in the semifinal round of the ECAC men’s basketball tournament on March 6. The Great Danes completed their final NCAA Div. II campaign with a 14-14 record.

    The Warriors raced to a 14-2 lead in the opening four minutes and led by as much as 18 points in the first period, settling for a 37-26 halftime advantage. Albany closed the gap to 45-40 early in the second half, but the Warriors slowly pulled away. Gibson, who grabbed 11 rebounds, had 15 points after halftime to keep his club in front.

    Todd Cetnar had 20 points to lead the Great Danes, who also lost to Merrimack in last year’s ECAC semifinals. Matthew Haggarty added 17 points, including five 3-pointers.

    DANE NOTES: Todd Cetnar and Will Brand were named to the All-NECC second team . . . Brand, NECC Rookie of the Year, was also picked 3rd-team All-ECAC-North . . . the 6-foot-4 forward posted the highest single-season point total (412) by an Albany freshman since 1955-56.

    Women’s Hoops End 13-14; Two Make All-NECC

    Center Rita Breivaite had 12 points in the final period as LIU-Southampton held off Albany, 70-64, in the ECAC women’s basketball tournament’s semifinal round on March 6 in Philadelphia. Albany finished its last season in the NCAA Div. II era with a 13-14 record.

    The Colonials, the tourney’s No. 2 seed, moved out to a 36-22 halftime lead by holding the Great Danes to 29-percent shooting. Albany reeled off nine unanswered points to draw even at 56-all with 7:02 remaining on Alison Bowe’s fastbreak layup. However, Breivate and Larsen used their baseline muscle to push Southampton away in the stretch.

    Megan Buchanan had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Great Danes, while senior guard Kelly Paolino, making her last appearance in an Albany uniform, scored 18.

    DANE NOTES: Megan Buchanan was voted second-team All-New England Collegiate Conference by the coaches, while Kelly Paolino was an honorable mention selection . . . Paolino finished fourth on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,020 points . . . Buchanan’s 381 points this season is the fifth-highest total in UA annals.

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