Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York  


Observer Takes Home College Newspaper Awards

The Observer, the student-run newspaper at Fordham College at Lincoln Center, won second place in the category of “non-weekly four-year university paper” on Feb. 28 in the Best of Show contest at the Midwinter National College Newspaper Convention.

The newspaper also won first place in the category of “multimedia package contest” for “A Second Look: More Stops Along the 7 Train” by online editor P.J. Williams, a senior.

The Observer has won so many awards in recent years, it is easy to forget that each year brings new leadership and new challenges,” said Robert Grimes, S.J., dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center. “This year’s staff deserves special praise, not only for the award in a traditional journalistic category, but even more so for its first award in a multimedia category, clearly the wave of the future.”

“I could not be more proud of The Observer’s staff,” said editor in chief Ashley WennersHerron, a senior. “It’s lovely to have recognition for the hard work our talented editors and writers put into every aspect of the newspaper.”

Adviser Elizabeth Stone, Ph.D., professor of English and communications and media studies, noted that the newspaper’s staff was acutely aware of the enormous changes that are underway in journalism, and have adapted accordingly.

“This year The Observer editorial board made the decision to move forward and concentrate on online multimedia. I’m very proud of the entire editorial board and its collaborative and cooperative action,” she said.

The Observer
took first place in Best of Show in 2008 and 2009, and 10th place for Best Website in 2009. In 2007, The Observer won an honorable mention in Best of Show.

The Midwinter National College Newspaper Convention is sponsored by the Associate Collegiate Press.

—Patrick Verel

Author Reveals the Talented Ms. Highsmith

Biographer Joan Schenkar told a Fordham University audience on Feb. 3 that she delved into “the most dangerous imagination in the last half of the 20th century” when she undertook a lengthy biography of the late novelist Patricia Highsmith.

In a talk sponsored by Fordham’s creative writing program, Schenkar painted a portrait of Highsmith, author of The Talented Mr. Ripley, as a woman of “volatile definition”—a prolific, talented writer who was eccentric, had a split personality and lived an unconventional, ambivalent life. Schenkar said that Highsmith, a lesbian, grew up imagining herself a boy, and often dreamed of murdering her stepfather.

In doing research for the book, Schenkar found that Highsmith frequently used the exact locales where she had been intimate with her many lovers as the sites for her fictional murder scenes.

“She was a woman who fulfills every definition of the word perverse,” said Schenkar, author of The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith (St. Martins, 2009). “She loved what she hated and hated what she loved.”

Highsmith wrote more than 20 books, including five Ripley novels and the murder suspense novel, Strangers on a Train. The duality of many of Highsmith’s characters, Schenkar said, took seed during her job writing comic book scripts for superheros with alter egos, during the 1940s and 1950s.

After some success with Strangers, Highsmith moved to Europe, where she involved herself in many turbulent relationships and traveled as a means of changing her experience.

The bizarre author also had a passion for snails as pets, said Schenkar, and maintained a collection of some 300 of them. When she traveled, she carried them in cottage cheese cartons and even took them out for her own amusement while she dined in public.

Schenkar attributed the lack of American success of Highsmith’s novels to her expatriate status and to her dark themes, which scorned and mimicked the “American dream” so predominant in the post-war culture. Her novels, best-sellers in Europe, gained more notoriety in the United States following the 1999 movie release of The Talented Mr. Ripley, starring Matt Damon.

Although this was not Schenkar’s first biography, the book was unique in its non-chronological, non-linear design, said the author. Schenkar devoted each chapter to a particular theme or obsession in Highsmith’s life and work because she felt that chronology could not capture Highsmith’s “extreme character.”

“She was one of those people who was outside of definition, which is why she is so interesting,” said Schenkar. “I had to expand my own imagination to comprehend her life.”

—Janet Sassi

GBA Team Wins Business Research Competition

A team from the Graduate School of Business Administration won a prestigious case competition on Feb. 25 as part of the New York Society of Security Analysts’ (NYSSA) Eighth Annual Investment Research Challenge.

Graduate students Jonathan Ball, Alex Lik Hang Ng, Thomas Messineo and Ravi Misra made up the four-person squad that defeated teams from 15 schools, including Cornell, Yale, Columbia and Rutgers universities. They were assisted by John Hunter, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of finance and economics, and industry mentor Thomas Galvin.

Fordham will compete against teams from around the world at the CFA Institute Global Investment Research Challenge on April 17 in Hong Kong.

“This is the second time during the eight-year annual competition that Fordham’s team has won, an exceptionally high batting average considering that 16 or more teams compete each year,” said Robert F. Himmelberg, Ph.D., interim dean of GBA.

“The team members themselves and their experiences preparing for the competition tell us a good deal about the Graduate School of Business Administration. They are students from diverse national backgrounds, and they worked together harmoniously and cooperatively to achieve success.

“They are quick to acknowledge the value of the tools and methodologies they received from our finance faculty,” Himmelberg said. “That they have developed a strong sense of commitment to excellence is evident from the determination they showed as they won out over a very talented roster of competitors.”

The Investment Research Challenge is an educational initiative in which leading industry professionals teach business and finance students how to research and report on a publicly traded company. The contest spans one academic year and consists of the following components:

• training in research and report writing;
• mentoring by a professional research analyst;
• assessment of written reports; and
• presentation of research to a panel of Wall Street experts.

The four finalist teams—Fordham, Cornell, Rutgers and Stony Brook—presented their research on Feb. 25. The Fordham team was chosen the winner based on the combined scores for the written report and the presentation.

As part of their victory, the Fordham team had the honor of ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ on March 1.
—Gina Vergel

FCRH Freshmen Feted for Mid-Year Progress

Photo by Ken Levinson

They are only halfway through their freshman year, but the brightest members of Fordham College at Rose Hill’s class of 2013 are well on their way to “setting the college on fire.”

That was the message Interim Dean Michael Latham delivered to roughly 140 students on Feb. 3 in O’Hare Hall. The Academic Achievement Reception honored freshmen who earned a 3.6 GPA or higher in their first semester at Fordham.

The student guests heard from members of the University faculty and administration, who encouraged them to further develop their talents and skills at the University.

They included: Robert Parmach, Ph.D., dean of freshmen; John Buckley, associate vice president for undergraduate enrollment; Elizabeth Brown, Fulbright fellowship coordinator for the St. Edmund Campion Institute for the Advancement of Intellectual Excellence; J. Patrick Hornbeck, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology; Glen Hendler, Ph.D., director of the American studies program; and Greg Winczewski, Ph.D., director of the IPED major for undergraduates.

“We’re very grateful. We accepted you to Fordham because of your terrific credentials, and now you’ve proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you truly belong here,” Dean Latham said. “We want to thank you for making us look good.”

—Patrick Verel

Connecting the Dots Between Sex, Death and Boredom

The Graduate English Association hosted a one-day conference on Feb. 12 at which presenters engaged the connections between sex, death and boredom in an effort to challenge their conventional definitions.

Held at the Lincoln Center campus, “Sex, Death and Boredom” featured keynote speaker Simon Critchley, Ph.D. (pictured), chair and professor and philosophy at The New School. The conference also featured various presentations by graduate students.

—Gina Vergel

Wal-Mart Funds Mentoring Latinas Program


Representatives from Wal-Mart meet with members of the Mentoring Latinas program and the students they advise.

Photos by Ken Levinson

A support program that provides mentoring for local Latina students will be expanded thanks to a $35,000 gift from Wal-Mart.

Guests from the corporate retailing giant met with mentees and their Latina mentors from Fordham at a check presentation ceremony on Feb. 3 at the William D. Walsh Family Library on the Rose Hill campus.

Run by the Graduate School of Social Service, Mentoring Latinas addresses the unique challenges faced by Latina adolescents by pairing them with Latina college students who can guide and assist them, and inspire them to pursue higher education.

“The valuable work that Mentoring Latinas does would not be possible this year without the largesse of Wal-Mart,” said Ellen Silber, Ph.D., director of Mentoring Latinas. “Wal-Mart is a big company with a big heart, one that cares, as we do, about the future of adolescent Latinas.”

—Patrick Verel







Back to Inside Fordham Home page

Copyright © 2010, Fordham University.

Site  | Directories
Submit Search Request