OFFICE OF THE PROVOST AND
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

TO:                  University Senate

FROM:            Eric W. Kaler, Provost and Senior Vice President

DATE:             April 4, 2011   

REPORT TO THE UNIVERSITY SENATE

APRIL 2011 PROVOST LECTURE SERIES

On Tuesday, April 5, 2011, the Provost’s Lecture Series is proud to host a talk by Judith Shulevitz at 7:00 p.m. in Lecture Hall 2 of the Wang Center. Judith Shulevitz is a cultural critic and magazine editor who helped to start both Slate and Lingua Franca, which won a National
Magazine Award for General Excellence under her co-editorship. She was previously a columnist for Slate and the New York Times Book Review, and is now a contributing editor at The New Republic. In her lecture, entitled “The Impossible Necessary Sabbath: What an Ancient Institution Has to Teach Us in These Postmodern Times,” Shulevitz will reflect on the Sabbath as she discusses her recent book, The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time.

On Monday, April 11, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. in the Simons Center Auditorium, we are honored to be hosting a talk by Dr. Ken Dill entitled “Pathways: Routes Through Life, Science, and Protein Folding Are Seldom Straight Lines.” Ken Dill is Professor of Chemistry and Physics at Stony Brook University and Director of the Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and co-author of the textbook Molecular Driving Forces, Dill received the first Hans Neurath Award in 1998 from the Protein Society for his research on the structures of proteins. Early models of protein folding and biological evolution envisioned processes that follow linear pathways from beginning to end, but pathways in biology and physics, as in life, Dill says, are more often random, less directed, and less predictable.

On Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 4:30 p.m., the Provost’s Lecture Series will be hosting a lecture by Dr. Immanuel Wallerstein in the Humanities Building, Lecture Hall 1006. Immanuel Wallerstein is senior research scholar at Yale University. He is the author of The Modern World-System (Vols. I, II, and III), and most recently, European Universalism: The Rhetoric of Power. He was the Director of the Fernand Braudel Center from 1976 to 2005, President of the International Sociological Association from 1994 to 1998, and Chair of the International Gulbenkian Commission for the Restructuring of the Social Sciences. In 2003, he received the Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award from the American Sociological Association. Wallerstein’s lecture, entitled “Borders, Borders, Everywhere, And Not a Drop to Drink,” will open the National Borders in the 21st Century: XXXVth Political Economy of the World-System Conference. The conference will consider new ways of thinking about national borders—the analytical and empirical challenges as well as the normative and political issues—and discuss how law, work, identity, and community are being affected by shifting meanings of borders.

On Friday, April 29, 2011, Andy Revkin, writer for The New York Time’s Dot Earth blog and a senior fellow at Pace University's Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, will give a talk entitled “Which Comes First, Peak Everything or Peak Us?” Most people alive today will witness a momentous juncture in the history of the human species—the point when explosive growth in human numbers and appetites crests and is followed by... No one knows. Decisions made today about energy, education, urban design and other matters can help smooth the transition from a sprint to a marathoner's gait. Business as usual will almost assuredly lead to unnecessary losses. In his talk, Andy Revkin will explore the enormous opportunities for today's innovation generation to tip the odds toward progress that fits on a finite planet.

STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY STUDENT HONORS AND AWARDS

We are very proud to announce that Stony Brook University student, Mr. Yaseen Eldik, was recently named a Truman Scholar—the first in SBU history. Mr. Eldik is a junior at Stony Brook University with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. Yaseen has been recognized with the Humanities Institute Undergraduate Research Award and the Tepper Award for the Outstanding Undergraduate in Public Sociology. He also participated in competitive summer programs such as the Harvard University Summer Research Opportunities Program and the University of Iowa College of Law Philip G. Hubbard Pre-Law Fellowship. Yaseen has also worked on addressing Islamaphobia through education by working in Jerusalem with Jewish and Palestinian youth.

In a SUNY-wide competition, each year the Chancellor's Office honors selected graduating seniors with the Chancellor's Awards for Student Excellence. These awards recognize undergraduates who best demonstrate the integration of academic performance with other aspects of university and community life. This year, thirteen Stony Brook University seniors received the award, and will be given a framed certificate and a medallion (traditionally worn at commencement) at an awards ceremony in Albany, NY to be held on April 5, 2011.
These 13 Stony Brook students, and their respective academic majors, are: Deborah Aller, Anthropology & Environmental Studies majors; Geri Lynn Galotti, Biology major; Azadeh Issapour, Psychology major; Sonia Kaczmarzyk, English major; Robert Kimmerling, Biomedical Engineering major; Geordan Kushner, Political Science major; Yan Leyfman, Biology major;
Kirin Mahmud, Business & Economics majors; Motunrayo Mobolaji-Lawal, Biochemistry major; Erica Palma, Biomedical Engineering major; Nadya Peresleni, Biochemistry major;
Anna Sverkunova, Biology major (Neuroscience specialization); and Katherine Weber, Health Science major.

We are also very proud that three Stony Brook students have been recognized nationally by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation for the 2010-2011 academic year, including:

1. Goldwater Scholar - Hillary Moss
Major: Biochemistry, Honors College, Stony Brook University (class of 2011)
High School:  Ward Melville High School, East Setauket, NY
Research Mentor: Dr. Robert Haltiwanger, Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Additional Faculty Sponsors: Dr.  Frank Fowler & Dr. Zachary Katsamanis, Department of Chemistry

2. Rajeev Masson- Goldwater Honorable Mention
Major: Biology (Neuroscience track), Stony Brook University (class of 2011)
High School:  Connetquot High School, Bohemia, NY
Research Mentor: Dr.  David McKinnon, Department of Neurobiology & Behavior
Additional Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Marvin H. O'Neal III, Undergraduate Biology & Dr. Barbara Rosati, Department of Physiology & Biophysics

3. Spencer Thomas- Goldwater Honorable Mention
Major: Physics, Honors College, Stony Brook University (class of 2011)
High School: Harborfields High School, Greenlawn, NY
Research Mentor: Dr. Marivi Fernandez-Serra, Department of Physics & Astronomy
Additional Faculty Sponsors: Dr. John Hobbs & Dr.  Harold Metcalf, Department of Physics & Astronomy

EARTHSTOCK 2011

Stony Brook will host Earthstock, a week-long celebration surrounding environmental awareness and sustainability, from April 25 - April 29, 2011. Stony Brook University is at the vanguard of the sustainability movement. Our commitment to a green future is evident everywhere on our 1,400 acres: from reducing our carbon footprint, to advocating recycling and using recycled materials whenever possible, to promoting alternatively fueled transportation. For more information on SBU’s 2011 Earthstock program, please visit http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/earthstock/

ARTISTS, AUTHORS AND EDITORS RECEPTION

On Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. in the Wang Chapel, Stony Brook University will be hosting an Artists, Authors and Editors reception. This annual exhibition affords SBU faculty artists, authors and editors the opportunity to share the diversity in the depth and breadth of the scientific, scholarly, and creative activity that they help to create on the Stony Brook campus.