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A&S Faculty Feted at Annual Awards Ceremony

From left: Amy Tuininga, Dominic Balestra, Irma Watkins-Owens and Leonard Cassuto.
Photo by Jason Grief

Four arts and sciences professors were honored with Distinguished Teaching Awards on Feb. 6 at the Annual Arts and Sciences Faculty day, held at Fordham College at Lincoln Center.

More than 200 members of the faculty and administration came out for the event, which got underway with a lecture by Barbara Mundy, Ph.D., associate professor of art history. Mundy, a scholar of colonial Latin American art, lectured on “And Then Moteuczoma Danced: Historical Memory and Native Presence in Colonial Mexico City.”

Those receiving awards for undergraduate teaching were:

Dominic Balestra, Ph.D., professor of philosophy. Balestra, who has been a member of the faculty since 1975, was distinguished for his teaching in the humanities.

Irma Watkins-Owens, Ph.D., associate professor of African and African-American studies. Watkins-Owens received recognition for her teaching of the social sciences. She has been a member of the faculty since 1988.

Amy Tuininga, Ph.D., assistant professor of biological sciences. Tuininga was feted for teaching in the natural and life sciences. She has been a member of the faculty since 2001.
In addition, Leonard Cassuto, Ph.D., professor of English, was recognized for his graduate-level teaching in American literature. Cassuto has been a member of the faculty since 1989.

Robert Grimes, S. J., dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, presided over a banquet and awards ceremony in the Pope Auditorium that followed the lecture.

“Your dedication to our students and the art of teaching makes Fordham what it is: a family of faculty, staff, and students centered on the love of wisdom and learning,” he said.

—Janet Sassi

Guardian Angels Celebrate 30 Years of Safety Patrols and Service

From left: Curtis Sliwa and Harold Takooshian, Ph.D.
Photo by Gina Vergel

Thirty years after they began patrolling streets in the South Bronx, the Guardian Angels gathered on Feb. 12 at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus to reminisce about their early days and celebrate their global success.

“This was an organization that had a difficult time getting a word in edgewise,” said Curtis Sliwa, the group’s founder and talk show host on New York’s WABC radio. “Here we are, 30 years later, with chapters in 136 cities in 13 countries.”

Sliwa founded the Guardian Angels on Feb. 13, 1979, when, as manager of a McDonald’s on East Fordham Road near Webster Avenue, he tired of the rampant crime that had overtaken the Bronx.

“The area was the worst example of how people had lost their sentimentality,” he said. “People looked the other way when crimes happened on the arteries and veins of New York—the subways—because they just wanted to get home alive. It was survival of the fittest.”

The city’s police force and administration didn’t welcome the original 13 members, who patrolled the streets wearing red berets, a symbol that has become synonymous with the Guardian Angels worldwide. In fact, then-Mayor Ed Koch called them vigilantes.

But Fordham University students and staff, like many New York residents who were sick of crime-filled streets and subways, expressed admiration for the unarmed patrol.

“Fordham was always a safe haven for us,” Sliwa said.

Harold Takooshian, Ph.D., professor of psychology, recalled taking his social psychology students into the streets in the 1980s, to survey the public about the Guardian Angels.

“With the exception of two people who weren’t from the area and didn’t have a clue who the Angels were, there was an overwhelmingly positive response,” he said.

Takooshian, one of the featured speakers at the event, discussed pro-social behavior and why the Guardian Angels were able to turn at-risk youths into community leaders.

“Whether they were teenagers that hung out on the streets or not, those who eventually became Angels had role models in one way or another,” he said.

—Gina Vergel

College of Business Administration Celebrates Upgraded Classroom

Donna Rapaccioli, dean of the College of Business Administration, leads a ribbon cutting of the technology/
trading room.
Photo by Ryan Brenizer

When College of Business Administration (CBA) graduates enter the workplace, they will have a leg up on the competition, thanks to a state of the art technology/trading room that recently opened on the Rose Hill campus.

The room, which had its official ribbon cutting on Feb. 25, is located in Faber Hall, and is the result of a partnership between the CFA Institute and the bachelor of science in finance program at CBA.

The ribbon cutting drew members of the CBA advisory board, representatives from the New York Society of Security Analysts, the CRFA Institute, faculty, students, administrators and architects who designed the room.

The project cost $500,000, said Donna Rapaccioli, dean of the College of Business Administration. It features ticker monitors and a Bloomberg machine, and will feature live technology training sessions using software and databases such as Thomson One software and MediaLab. A portfolio management class is presently being held in the room, where dual screens make it easier for students to execute simulated stock trades, she said.

“Tonight, we recognize the CFA designation as a symbol of excellence, and how proud Fordham is to partner with the CFA Institute to educate ethical leaders of the global financial community,” Dean Rapaccioli said. “At the same time, we celebrate the opening of this dazzling new trading room, a space that provides our students and faculty access to state of the art technology.”

—Patrick Verel

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