People in Action

McNair ScholarsEight McNair Scholars Program participants, pictured, gave presentations of their research projects July 11 in Sheldon Hall ballroom: Seated, left to right, Nurah Ahmad, a psychology major whose mentor was Matthew Dykas, presented on “The Development of Racial Identity Through Direct and Indirect Teachings,” and Ariel Perez, human development, mentors Barbara Streets and Laura Brown, “Identifying the Top Three Programs/Techniques that Help Improve the Reading Achievement in Schools Where +75 Percent of the Students Are Eligible for Free Lunch Meals”; and standing, left to right, Damaris Dunn, history and African American studies, mentor Geraldine Forbes, “West African American Women as the Comprador Class to the Atlantic Slave Trade, 18th to Early 19th Century”;  Kristopher Barnes, biology, mentor Jenifer Cruickshank, “Analysis of Lipofuscin Accumulation with Age in Five Different Hamster Tissues Using Various Staining Techniques”; Paula Oppong, biology, mentor Webe Kadima, “The Effectiveness of Medicinal Plants from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Lowering Hypoglycemic Rate of Type 2 Diabetes”; Mark Potter, accounting and information science, mentors Caroline Ilie and David Vampola, “Developing Multi-touch Technology for Use as an Instructional Technology in STEM Subjects”; Ryan Navarro, zoology, mentor Lucina Hernandez, “Mapping a Landscape of Fear: A Study of the Habitat Use of the Black-Capped Chickadee”; and Yongji Chen, computer science, mentors Shashi Kanbur and James Early, “Integration of an Imaging Application, WebCCD, into Chimera Software Package.” The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is a national program funded by the Department of Education that aims to increase the number of historically underrepresented students in graduate school, doctoral programs and the professoriate. Oswego receives $231,000 a year to support 26 talented juniors and seniors.

Two accounting students, Bryant Tyler and Christopher Daniel, are recipients of the Excellence in Accounting Scholarship awarded by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and its Foundation for Accounting Education. Scholarships are $2,500 for full-time students and $1,500 for part-time students.

Neelika Jayawardane of the English and creative writing faculty published “Impenetrable Bodies/Disappearing Bodies: Fat American Celebrities, Lean Indigenous People, and Multinational Pharmaceuticals in the Battle to Claim Hoodia gordonii” in Popular Communication, Vol. 9, Issue 2. Jayawardane also presented “Unmarked Bodies/Impenetrable Skin: South Africa’s Cosmetic Surgery Industry and the Performance of Power” at the 2011 Canadian Association of African Studies Conference’s “Africa Here; Africa There” at York University in Toronto. She also received an Office of International Education and Programs travel grant for research on Cape Town’s cosmetic surgery industry, and how these aesthetic practices relate to South Africa’s social conditions and apartheid history. Concurrent with this grant, Jayawardane continues as a visiting fellow at the Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town (May to August, 2005 to 2011).

Sarfraz Mian of the School of Business faculty was a keynote speaker at the “Invent—The Entrepreneurial Challenge” final business plan event July 3 at the Institute of Business Administration main campus in Pakistan. The challenge is a student-level business plan competition.

Tim Nekritz, associate director of public affairs and director of web communication, gave two conference presentations on the rapidly growing field of location-based social media. He presented “Geosocial Media and You: Looking for a Place to Happen” during the Canadian Post-Secondary Education Web Conference—the largest gathering of higher education Web professionals north of the border—in Toronto in late May. In early June, Nekritz led a session titled “Location-Based Media, or You + Where = Foursquare” at the SUNYCUAD Conference in Saratoga Springs. Both presentations used examples of what SUNY Oswego has done in such geosocial platforms as Foursquare, SCVNGR and Gowalla, as well as where the location-based field may be heading.

“The Funeral Director as Theatrical Supervisor and/or Travel Agent: A Review of Contemporary New Zealand Funeral Behavior” by Paul Voninski of the anthropology faculty was on one of the featured presentations at the inaugural Death Down Under: Death Studies Conference, held at the University of Sydney Law School on June 27 and 28.

In Memoriam

Jean Evans, 69, secretary in the history department from 1981 to 2006, died June 22 at St. Luke’s Health Services in Oswego.

(Posted: Jul 15, 2011)