OFFICE OF THE PROVOST AND
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

TO:                  University Senate

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

DATE:             November 1, 2010      

REPORT TO THE UNIVERSITY SENATE

NOVEMBER 2010 PROVOST’S LECTURE SERIES

On Thursday, November 4, 2010, the President and Provost’s Office will co-sponsor a lecture entitled “Afghanistan: The Current Situation Through a Historical Lens.” We are honored to host the speaker of this talk at Stony Brook, Dr. Zahir Tanin, who is the permanent representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations and serves as Vice President of the 65th Session of the General Assembly. Dr. Tanin is also Vice Chair of the Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian Committee. A graduate of Kabul Medical University, Dr. Tanin began his career in 1980 as a journalist. He co-authored The Communist Regime in Afghanistan, a study of the political and social changes in Afghanistan from 1978 to 1992, and produced the landmark BBC program “The Oral History of Afghanistan in the 20th Century.”

CHEMISTRY RESEARCH DAY AT STONY BROOK

On Friday, November 5, 2010, we will be celebrating the 52nd Anniversary of our Chemistry Department here at Stony Brook University by hosting Chemistry Research Day—an annual showcase and celebration which features poster presentations by graduate students, undergraduates, and postdoctoral researchers highlighting the wide range of study in the department. In addition to Stony Brook faculty, staff and students, this event includes attendees from Brookhaven National Laboratory, area schools, and industry.

Chemistry Research Day acts as a forum to recognize the many accomplishments of our students and to recruit new students for our Chemistry program. This event is also an excellent opportunity for undergraduates on campus, other members of our Stony Brook community, and faculty from local schools, to learn first-hand about the department’s research initiatives. We are also pleased to be hosting a keynote lecture by Stony Brook faculty member, Dr. Carlos Simmerling, entitled "Chemistry in Bits and Bytes: How Video Games and Digital Technology are Transforming our Ability to Understand Complex Molecular Behavior.”

SEIMENS COMPETITION 2010: RECOGNIZING SBU FACULTY MENTORS

Forty-five high school students who worked with Stony Brook University faculty mentors were recently announced as regional finalists (18) and/or semifinalists (27) in the 2010 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology—one of the top nationwide research competitions for high school researchers.

Many of the competition winners participated in summer research programs offered at Stony Brook, including the Garcia Center for Polymers at Engineered Interfaces program and/or the Simons Summer Research Program. Thirty of the awardees (21 semifinalists and 9 regional finalists) were mentored by Miriam Rafailovich of Materials Science & Engineering who is one of the nation’s leading mentors of research competition talent and has formed collaborative, interdisciplinary networks with faculty across campus. Other faculty engaged in mentoring Siemens regional finalists and/or semifinalists include: Benjamin Chu of Chemistry; Liliana Davalos of Ecology & Evolution; Peter Gergen and Robert Haltiwanger of Biochemistry & Cell Biology; Benjamin Hsiao, Iwao Ojima, and Carlos Simmerling of Chemistry; Jonathan Sokolov of Materials Science & Engineering; and Wei Zhu of Applied Mathematics whose students worked in collaboration with Ellen Li of Medicine.

Stony Brook annually ranks among the leaders in universities nationwide who mentor high school researchers. Of the 1,372 projects submitted by 2,033 students in the 2010 competition, the Siemens Foundation announced a total of 312 semifinalists and 94 regional finalist awards, representing 36 states; regional finalists will be going on to compete in one of six regional competitions during November; and winners of the regional events will compete at the National Finals in Washington, DC in early December for the top prize of $100,000. Notably, approximately 19 percent of the regional finalists selected this year worked with Stony Brook faculty.

13TH ANNUAL LIBLIT SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED TO SBU STUDENTS

On November 10, 2010 Stony Brook will participate in the annual Evan R. Liblit scholarship function – both to celebrate America Recycles Day and to honor the memory and contributions of Evan R. Liblit, a pioneer and leader in the field of recycling and solid waste management.
On this day, the Liblit Scholarship Committee will award the Thirteenth Annual Scholarships to deserving graduate and undergraduate students at Stony Brook University’s Waste Reduction and Management Institute, which is located within the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR CHANCELLOR’S EXCELLENCE AWARDS

The Chancellor's Awards for Excellence are system-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. These programs underscore SUNY’s commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, advancing the boundaries of knowledge, providing the highest quality of instruction, and serving the public good. Through these awards, SUNY publicly proclaims its pride in the accomplishment and personal dedication of its instructional faculty, librarians and professional staff across its campuses. The awards provide SUNY-wide recognition in five categories: Faculty Service, Librarianship, Professional Service, Scholarship and Creative Activities, and Teaching. Nomination files must be received by the Provost's Office by November 4, 2010.