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Ailey/Fordham Dancers Shine in Benefit Performance

Photo by Chris Taggart
Josh Johnson (left) and Chiang Yong Sungin in a performance by students of the Ailey/ Fordham B.F.A. Program in Dance and other Ailey School programs on Wednesday, March 7, at the Pope Auditorium, Lincoln Center campus, to benefit the B.F.A. program’s scholarship fund.

Dancers performed in eight numbers choreographed by professionals in the field, including Seán Curran and Camille A. Brown.

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University; Robert Grimes, S.J., Ph.D., dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center; and Judith Jamison, artistic director of the Ailey School, were on hand for the benefit performance.

— Janet Sassi

Rose Hill Sophomore Named to Leadership Program

Devin C. Gladden, a sophomore at Fordham College at Rose Hill.
Photo by Bruce Gilbert
Devin C. Gladden, a Fordham College at Rose Hill sophomore, was named to the Institute for Responsible Citizenship’s 2007-2008 leadership program on Feb. 28. Gladden, an international political economy major with a minor in environmental studies, has been a dean’s list student at the University and is involved in several community and environmental outreach projects.

The Institute for Responsible Citizenship, based in Washington, D.C., selected 24 sophomore and juniors with a mean GPA of 3.6 to the two-summer program at Georgetown University, which aims to develop “principled leaders of tomorrow.”

“Each year, our students take part in intensive internships, rigorous courses, and leadership training. The classes give them the fundamental constitutional and economic principles they will need to be great leaders,” said the institute’s founder William Keyes.

Gladden is involved in Urban Plunge, a University community service project, and the Campus Climate Challenge. He is concerned with global warming and aspires to be president of the National Wildlife Federation. Last Fall Gladden took part in The Climate Project Training Program with former senator Al Gore at Gore’s farm in Carthage, Tenn.

— Brian Kluepfel

English Professor a Finalist in Hemingway/Pen Award

Yvette Christiansë, Ph.D., associate professor of English and comparative literature, Fordham College at Rose Hill, was chosen runner-up in the 2007 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for a distinguished first book of fiction, PEN New England announced.

Christiansë’s novel, Unconfessed (Other Press, 2006) tells the story of a South African woman born into slavery and of the abuses she faced. The annual award and cash prize is a coveted achievement for writers of new fiction. As runner-up, Christiansë receives a residency at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, a renowned writers’ and artists’ retreat. Christiansë is currently doing a promotional book tour that included an appearance on The Tavis Smiley Show on PBS.

“PEN International provided a safe place for writers of all races to meet and discuss their work and ideas under apartheid,” said Christiansë. “It is therefore an enormous honor to receive this recognition, and to know that this story about the predicament of not just one woman, but of [all] enslaved women in South Africa’s history, has found an ear. It is sometimes the work of fiction to bridge a gap between what is unspoken or inaudible and what might ail even our present. In my classes on African disaporic literatures, I try to encourage students to develop an ear to such things.”

— Janet Sassi

WFUV Wins Three Gracie Awards

WFUV producer Nora Flaherty
Photo by Lynda Shenkman Curtis
A producer and three students on Fordham’s non-commercial radio station WFUV (90.7 FM, have won Gracie Allen Awards from the American Women in Radio and Television, Inc. (AWRT), the group announced in March. The national awards, which go to some of the biggest names in the broadcasting and cable industries, will be presented at a black-tie gala at Manhattan’s Marriot Marquis on June 18, with an additional June 19 ceremony at the Tavern on the Green restaurant.

Fordham’s winners are:

Producer and host Nora Flaherty, in the category “Outstanding Talk Show,” for her “Fairy Tales” episode of the weekly Fordham Conversations, featuring Anne-Katrin Titze, M.A., lecturer in German. Flaherty interviewed Titze on the difference between the Grimm fairy tales and the Disney versions on a show that aired May 27, 2006.

Narrator Kenny Pordon, a Fordham College at Rose Hill senior, and writer/producer Tim Smith, a Fordham College at Rose Hill senior, in the category “Outstanding Sports Program,” for “Jets Football for Women.”

Megan Blondel, a Fordham College at Rose Hill junior, in the category “Outstanding Anchor, Individual Achievement.”

“These awards are special because they recognize excellence in three areas of WFUV’s programming — news, sports, and public affairs,” said Ralph Jennings, the station’s general manager. “The fact that they honor both our professional and student staff is gratifying, since part of our mission is to create an environment where professionals and students benefit from working together.”

Flaherty, whose Fordham Conversations spotlights the University through features on professors, alumni and students, said it was her both first broadcasting award and an honor to be recognized with “so many impressive men and women.” Other recipients include CNN’s anchor Soledad O’Brien, and Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman.

“I had a fantastic time putting this particular show together, and I guess that came through in the program,” she said.

Student award winner Pordon hosts WFUV’s One on One program and does a weekly sportscast. Blondel, who started working at WFUV as a freshman, writes newscasts and anchors the afternoon news. Both students expressed gratitude for the AWRT recognition and credited WFUV with steering them toward a career in journalism.

“WFUV took in a teenager with very little if any broadcasting experience and molded me into the experienced on-air personality I am today,” Pordon said. “It has given me the tools and confidence to be successful at any endeavor I choose.”

The AWRT, founded in 1951, is the oldest professional association dedicated to advancing women in media and entertainment. The Gracie Awards have recognized exemplary programming created for women in all areas of electronic media for the past 32 years.

— Janet Sassi

Writer in Residence Wins Literary Prize

Fordham University Writer-in-Residence Terese Svoboda, M.F.A., has won the 2007 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize that comes with a $12,000 advance and publication next year of her book, Black Glasses Like Clark Kent.

Svoboda, who joined Fordham’s Department of English in fall of 2005, is widely regarded as a poet and novelist. Her novel Cannibal (New York University Press, 1994) was awarded the Bobst Prize and was selected by Spin magazine as one of the 10 best of 1994. Her poetry has appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker and Vogue magazines. In all, she has published four books of poetry and four novels, the latest of which is Tin God (University of Nebraska Press, 2006).

The prize by the Minnesota-based publishing house is awarded annually to the best previously unpublished, full-length work of literary nonfiction by a writer not yet established in the genre. The prize is funded by the Arsham Ohanessian Charitable Remainder Unitrust and the Ruth Easton Trust of the Edelstein Family Foundation.

— Victor Inzunza

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