the Light: Harpur Professor Studies Photochemistry
College's Alistair Lees spends much of his research time hoping
to see the light. Using tools that improve by several orders
of magnitude on the accuracy of microscopes and stopwatches,
Lees is working at the molecular level to explore the effects
of light on chemical systems. The field is called photochemistry,
and Lees efforts could help to find new and cheaper ways to
produce gasoline, make the environment cleaner and safer, and
enhance the quality of microcircuitry and any equipment that
relies on it.
Shining light on
matters: Alistair Lees works with a photochemical
most chemists work with molecules in their ground or normal
states, Lees has spent the past two decades working with molecules
in their "excited" state, a state attained when molecules
absorb light. Known as "second chemistry," the chemical
reactions that occur during these excited states are incredibly
fast-typically about one tenth of one quadrillionth of a second.
To be studied, they must be slowed down or in some other way
inhibited, and Lees has developed a unique approach.
Excited state molecules
generally emit light, give off heat, or break apart into fragments
as they return to the ground state. Relying on this, many chemists--
like forensic experts who determine the nature of an explosion
by studying resulting debris-- use a technique called matrix
isolation to study the fragments produced immediately after
a molecule emits light.
has instead synthesized whole new molecules that do not fragment
in their excited states. When cooled, Lees' creations remain
intact and display luminescence, giving him an unprecedented
chance to study the second chemistry involved. This approach
has opened the door to the development of several promising
with about $1.2 million dollars from the Department of Energy
and the American Chemical Society, Lees is studying hydrocarbon
activation, particularly how some new rhodium and iridium chemical
compounds act as catalysts to break apart the bonds of methane
(model pictured right). The reaction suggests the possibility
that the small methane molecule could be built up to the size
of the larger oil molecule. Methane, or natural gas, usually
does not react with other compounds but because it is both abundant
and recyclable, it is an attractive alternative to oil. Lees
preliminary research indicates it might someday be able to replace
oil in the production of many fuels as well as a host of other
products including plastics and pharmaceuticals.
research is also likely to help manufacturers of a wide range
of products. Supported by a $350,000 grant from IBM, Lees is
incorporating some of his light-emitting molecules into adhesive
polymers. As the adhesive sets, its luminescence changes from
red to orange to yellow, signaling appropriate curing and an
optimal bond. The microelectronics industry is keenly interested
in this research. If adhesives aren't completely set during
the assembly process, machines fail, parts break, and production
costs soar. The aerospace and motor industries are also interested,
Lees said. "Clearly, it's important, when you're riding
in a car or a plane that it not fall apart."
is also working on photoinitiators. "We found that some
of our organometallic compounds actually initiate polymerizations
reactions when exposed to light," he said. With about
a quarter of a million dollars in support from General Electric
and IBM, Lees is now collaborating with the two companies to
learn more about how this technique could be used to enhance
"exciting" application of Lees work is likely to stem
from the arena known as supramolecular chemistry. Lees is finding
ways to insert luminescent compounds into the cavities of some
large molecules. Because the luminescence of such molecules
changes substantially in reaction to their environment, some
make excellent sensors. Recently, Lees and his team found a
compound that is a good sensor for cyanide. Others, he said,
are sensitive to hydrocarbon vapors, which may help detect pollutants,
another important application in today's industrial world.
by Susan Barker
Speaks to Emeriti and Senior Faculty and Alumni Founders
Mileur spoke about Harpur College's mission to preserve
a top-quality, accessible education during difficult
To a packed crowd of retired
professors, senior faculty and "Founders" (alumni
who graduated from Triple Cities College and Harpur College
between 1948 and 1961), Dean Mileur presented "Harpur College:
the Challenge of Maintaining Quality During Fiscally Difficult
Emeriti and Senior
Faculty and Founders enjoyed lunch and a presentation
by Dean Mileur. Click
here for photos
Mileur explained how the mission of public higher
education has been expanded to include new initiatives such
as urban renewal and technology.
"Public universities have always been about
the democratization of the elite," Mileur said, meaning
that Harpur College makes a top quality, Ivy League-level education
available to the public.
He also stressed how much research has expanded
at Binghamton University and the importance of its payoff. "Our
faculty research finds itself back in the classroom," he
said, referring to how our professors teach the students what
they themselves learned in the laboratories.
Mileur said humanities at Harpur College also
continue to grow, as employers more often realize its value.
"Liberal arts students are in high demand in the business
world because of their communication and analytical skills,"
he said. "I feel exhilarated that we've accomplished so
Sadik Explains Sensor Research at Dean's Lecture
"I think it's
a great honor and thank Dean Mileur for the opportunity
to give the local community the chance to experience
the efforts and products of research at Binghamton
University," said Sadik following the lecture.
Imagine a wristwatch-sized sensor
that can detect, classify and provide warning against a broad
range of chemical and biochemical threats in air and water,
or chemical sensors that can help distinguish good troops from
the enemy, so as to cut back on "friendly fire."
Or consider a DNA biosensor that can detect specific mutations
in tumor cells with the goal of early detection and control
of tumors before they spread all over the body.
Omowunmi A. Sadik, associate
professor of chemistry, is leading the way in developing this
technology right here at Harpur College. At the Dean's Distinguished
Lecture on Wednesday, October 22, she presented "Intelligent
Chemical and Biological Sensors: From Cancer Detection to Bioterrorism
Applications" in Casadesus Recital Hall at 2:00 p.m.
Sadik showed pictures and explained
her patented innovations in chemical and biosensors technologies
and how they detect the presence and/or quantity of organic
vapors, toxins, metals, nucleic acids and proteins.
As our country deals with increasing
threats from chemical and biological weapons (CBW) from terrorist
organizations, scientists and government agencies are interested
in tools that can be used to detect and effectively combat biochemical
warfare agents. Also, incidents of anthrax contamination following
the 9/11 tragedies have increased awareness that CBW's may be
cheap alternative weapons of mass destruction because they can
effectively attack large populations while leaving infrastructures
Through a combination of new
immobilization chemistry and miniaturization techniques, Sadik's
sensors are fast and highly sensitive. The ability to manipulate
the recognition, differentiation, assembly, and performance
of these "molecular machines" will perhaps be a giant
leap in biomolecular communications.
Sadik earned a Ph.D. in chemistry
in 1994 from the University of Wollongong, New South Wales,
Australia, and M.S. and B.S. degrees, also in chemistry, in
1987 and 1985 respectively, from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
She is currently a visiting professor and distinguished fellow
of the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. Sadik has
published over 200 scientific articles, co-edited an American
Chemical Society book on environmental chemical and biological
sensors, and has seven patents/pending applications. She has
lectured extensively around the world and is actively engaged
in collaborative research with several industrial partners including
Procter & Gamble, AromaScan, Inc., and Daikin Corporation.
Sadik has received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in
Research, the Chancellor's Outstanding Inventor Award, and the
American Chemical Society Recognition for encouraging and mentoring
women and underrepresented minorities in the field of chemistry.
She has been on the faculty of Harpur College since 1996.
College Faculty Research Awards Announced
Several Harpur College faculty
recently won research awards from a variety of prestigious sources.
Department of Political Science, $11,565 from the National
Science Foundation (NSF) for "Doctoral Dissertation
Research in Political Science: A Cross-National Study of
Economic Globalization and Women's Rights Under Diverse
Institutional and Cultural Contexts." Cingranelli also
received $153,000 from the NSF for the study of human rights
practices around the world.
Department of Biological Sciences, $30,000 from the National
Science Foundation for "SGER: Behavioral Factors in
the Transmission of West Nile Virus in American Crows."
Department of Biological Sciences, $140,300 from the National
Science Foundation for "Introduction of a Proteomics
Laboratory Course Into the Undergraduate Biology Curriculum."
Fajardo, Department of Romance Languages, $100,196 from
the National Endowment for Humanities for "Reading
and Karin Sauer (pictured below), Department of Biological
Sciences, $150,500 from the National Institutes for Health
for "P. aeruginosa biofilm-specific proteins and regulators."
Department of Biological Sciences, $140,300 from the National
Science Foundation for "Introduction of a Proteomics
Laboratory Course Into the Undergraduate Biology Curriculum."
She also received $45,409 from Allegheny-Singer Research
Institute (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication
Disorders) for "Pneumococcal Biofilms in Otitis Meda."
Department of Mathematics, $7,525 from the US Army Research
Office for "Biomolecular Mathematics."
Department of Chemistry, $80,000 from the National Science
Foundation for "Bifunctional Gold-Platinum Nanoparticle
Catalyst: Fabrication and Characterization."
Department of Physics, (photo left) Bruce Murray, Department
of Mechanical Engineering (not in photo) and Eugene Stevens,
Department of Chemistry, (photo right) $140,255 from
the National Science Foundation for "Integration of
Polymer/Plastics Technologies Across the Curriculum."
Gal, Dennis McGee and Steven P. Tammariello,
Department of Biological Sciences, $288,346 from the National
Science Foundation for "Acquisition of a Laser Scanning
Confocal Microscope for Multidiscipline Research and Research
Department of Geological Sciences & Environmental Studies,
$26,428 from the National Science Foundation for "SGER:
An Exploratory Study of Surface Wave Dispersion in the Indian
Ocean, Indian Subcontinent and Western China."
Alumni Spotlight: Dr.
Alan Sherr `76
The old saying goes, "Step
on a crack, break your mother's back." But if Dr. Alan
Sherr `76 (pictured right) is nearby, he and his colleagues
at the Chiropractic & Wellness Education Center in Northport,
NY will have mom
back on her feet in no time at all.
Tai Chi (top) and
Reiki (bottom) are two of the services Sherr's facility,
Chiropractic and Wellness Education Center, offers
A double major
in biology and psychology at Harpur, Sherr went on to graduate
from New York Chiropractic College in 1980. The same year, he
founded Chiropractic & Wellness Services, a holistic health
care center offering chiropractic care, acupuncture, psychological
therapy, nutritional counseling, fitness training and massage.
Chiropractic & Wellness Services also offers classes in
weight loss, yoga, Chi Gong, Tai Chi (both gentle movements
and breathing techniques that increase energy), and Reiki (a
form of healing).
Remembers his Harpur College Days
I remember my whole sense
of Harpur College is that it felt like a small school.
I knew all my professors by their first names. There
were a few big lectures, but generally, all of my classes
were small. I had a wonderful experience there.
I remember Prof. [Emeritus]
Norman Stillman and his late wife Yedida. They helped
begin the Jewish studies department and used to invite
students to their house all the time. My minor was Jewish
studies and I studied for a semester at Haifa University
in Israel right after the war in 1973.
I used to eat at the Kosher
Kitchen all the time. We used to cook the food ourselves,
along with the chef. I met a whole group of people with
whom I'm still in contact.
Prof. Norman Spear was
a mentor of mine and I worked in his lab for more than
2 years. He was a wonderful influence in my work in biopsychology.
I learned a lot about research techniques and he helped
develop my passion for science.
and his wife, Claudia, have two sons, Scott, 23 and Jerry,
Once considered unconventional,
alternative medicine is now so sought after and respected that
medical schools and researchers are adding it to their array
of traditional treatments. While the term "wellness"
was once leftover granola from the 1960's, today it is a regular
concept in our nation's consciousness. "What I do now
is considered mainstream," Sherr said, "but 25 years
ago it was revolutionary and odd."
"People see chiropractic
medicine much differently today than they did 25 years ago,"
he said. "People misunderstand what they do versus
their philosophy." Sherr said the chiropractic
model is not about treating symptoms, but helping patients achieve
improved overall health. "Our focus is to teach people
to take responsibility for their own health care," he said.
create a context for their care. They're done with treatment
when their pain goes away and they choose to no longer receive
care. Or they continue treatment to assist in maintaining their
health. It's not unlike someone going to the doctor for physicals.
They might go to the chiropractor to help maintain their overall
Sherr is the
co-editor of Heart of the Healer, a 1986 collection of
essays about the importance of patients' positive attitudes
in healing. The Publisher's Marketing Association awarded it
the Benjamin Franklin Award for outstanding writing and design
the year it went to press.
his education at Harpur College laid the foundation for everything
he knows today. "I told my two children what they're learning
in college are the tools they'll be using in life. You don't
realize that until you have enough experience in life to know
that that's true."
College Dean's Advisory Council Members Return to Campus
Back row, left to
right: Paul Turovsky 73, Alex Huppe' `69, Associate
Dean Don Blake, Michael Najib `05, Andrew Sein `04,
David Luden `04, Harpur College Dean Jean-Pierre
Mileur. Front Row, left to right: Stacy Daniel `04,
Charles Cobb, Professor and Chair of Anthropology,
Michael Conlon, Associate Professor of English,
Jim Bauer `68, Larry Schorr `75, Bill Atkin `69
and Andrew Quinn `04.
Harpur College Dean Jean-Pierre
Mileur welcomed several of his Advisory Council members to campus
for a business meeting and to meet with faculty members and
students. The Council meets periodically with Dean Mileur to
discuss issues of importance to the College and its mission
of access and quality.
Council chair Paul Turovsky `73
and council members, Jim Bauer `68, Alex Huppe' `69, Larry Schorr
`75 (M.A. `77), Bill Atkin `69 (M.S. `71), Neil Botwinoff `78
and members Rich Alpern `69 and Mitch Lieberman `80, who participated
in the meeting via phone, discussed the challenges that Harpur
College currently faces in these fiscally difficult times.
They were joined by Professor
Charles Cobb, chair of Anthropology, one of many departments
that has benefitted from the Harpur College Dean's Faculty Development
Fund, Michael Conlon, associate professor of English, who spoke
about the Binghamton Scholars Program, an honors program for
students of exceptional merit, and Dean Blake, who spoke about
the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program, which encourages underrepresented
minorities to engage in scientific research.
The Binghamton Scholars were
Stacy Daniel `04, David Luden `04 and Andrew Quinn `04. Michael
Nagib `05 represented the Bridges program and Andrew Sein `04
was a 2003 Harpur Law Council Public Interest Law Intern at
the Federal Trade Commission - Region 2 in New York City.
Discover Harpur at Open Houses
More than 2,000 students eyeing a spot in Harpur
College's class of 2008 and their families learned about Harpur
College's academic programs, students, faculty, activities,
and campus life at Binghamton University's "Bearcat Welcome
Days" on October 19 and 25.
Each day began with school-wide
information sessions throughout campus. "Harpur College
teaches you to critically think, write well and become an expert
in your field," Brian Hazlett, associate director of admissions,
told a packed audience eager to learn more about Harpur College
in the Anderson Center Concert Theater.
Don Blake, Harpur College's associate
dean for academic affairs, gave a slide show depicting the Harpur
College year from orientation to commencement. "The faculty,
students and infrastructure are what make Harpur College such
a great place to learn," said Blake. Anticipating parents'
needs, he gave answers to what he said were the most frequently
asked questions about Harpur College. (see below)
Michelle Walker `04
and Michael Mondazzi `05 gave campus tours.
BU is Mallory Prain's
(pictured with her mom, Maureen) top choice.
Michelle Walker `04 and Michael
Mondazzi `05 were among the tourguides leading families around
campus throughout the day. Mondazzi said several prospective
students asked about different majors and the differences among
BU's five schools.
Mallory Prain and her parents
traveled from Cornwall, NY to Open House. The future English
major said this was her second visit to campus and that Dean
Blake's presentation only confirmed for her that BU is her top
What do high school students
(and their parents) want to know? Dean Blake Reveals the Top
Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions About Harpur College:
- How do A.P. (Advance Placement),
I.B. (International Baccalaureate) and Project Advance credits
count towards my degree?
What honors programs are available
long line of prospective students waited to
ask Dean Blake questions about Harpur College.
- What tutoring or study support
- How many large classes will
I take (and how large are they)?
- Why are Harpur College courses
4 credits each?
- Can a student defer admission
for a year?
- What services are available
to help students find careers?
- Can students get the courses
they need to graduate on time?
- Is Binghamton University becoming
a private university?
- How are students academically
Friends & Family
to your much-appreciated feedback, the Harpur Hotline has developed
a regular feature of alumni news. Please send us anything you
want: publications, promotions, marriages, babies, graduations,
retirements, etc. Many thanks to everyone who shared their stories!
Here's what some of your fellow Harpur alumni and friends are
Gail and Roderick Reeder returned to campus to attend
Anniversary Breakfast. He is retired from a long career
in advertising and marketing at Binghamton's Channel 12
and Channel 40. Currently, he volunteers for Community Hunger
Outreach Warehouse (CHOW), a local food pantry. The Reeders
live in Binghamton and have 3 daughters.
and Harriet Franklin also enjoyed the Golden Anniversary
Breakfast. After graduating from Harpur, Ken earned an MBA
from Syracuse University. He is a former IBM employee and
adjunct faculty member at Carnegie-Mellon University Business
School. Ken helped found Arby's Restaurant chain and owns
Franchise Developments, Inc., a consulting firm that designs
and implements new franchises and advises existing ones.
The Franklins have a son and a daughter.
Homyak came to Homecoming to celebrate the 50th anniversary
of his graduation from Harpur College. "The campus
is different, but it's great to be back," he said,
"It's very impressive after 50 years!" Homyak
spent his career in Phoenix, AZ with General Electric (which
eventually became Honeywell, and then Bull International)
and retired in 1988. Homyak's wife, Mary (Popovich), passed
away in 1997. He enjoys spending time with his son, David
and grandson, Alex, age 11.
Luis (pictured in the Panama Canal) has published Lunes
de Revolución: Literatura y cultura en los primeros
años de la Revolución Cubana (Lunes de
Revolución: Literature and Culture in the First Years
of the Cuban Revolution). The book chronicles the 131 issue
existance of Lunes de Revolución, the lliterary supplement
of Revolución, which was the official newspaper
of the 26 July Movement. Luis is the author and editor of
several books, including Culture and Customs of Cuba
and Dance Between Two Cultures: Latino-Caribbean Literature
Written in the United States. He earned a Ph.D. from
Cornell University in 1980 and is Professor of Spanish at
1978: Bruce Lerner,
seen at Homecoming shopping
in the bookstore for Harpur College gear, is an attorney
at Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC in Washington, D.C. In
1982, he earned both his law degree from the University
of Pennsylvania and a Master's of Public Administration
from Princeton University. Lerner and his wife live in
Bernstein earned an M.A. in International Affairs at
Columbia University 1981. He is now a national security
consultant at SAIC. Bernstein
returned to campus for Homecoming and enjoyed seeing how
much the campus has changed."My freshman year, we were
the first class in Johnson Hall in Dickinson," he recalled,
"and my sophomore year, we were the first co-ed floor."
Bernstein and his wife have a 14-year-old daughter and live
in Vienna, VA.
Cohen has published his first book: Last Century
of a Sephardic Community: The Jews of Monastir, 1839 - 1943.
the book for more information.
In an August 15, 2003 review, The Forward called
Cohen's book "an important addition to the study of
Sephardic Jews." Cohen earned an M.A. in English from
Tufts University in 1982. He is a self-employed writer in
the San Francisco Bay Area. He and his wife, Danielle, have
two daughters, Ilana, age 13 and Rebecca, age 10. Cohen
would enjoy hearing from old friends at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Owen Pell returned to campus to lecture on one of his
areas of specialization, corporate litigation in Professor
Steve Scalet's Markets, Ethics and Law class. A frequent
participant in Scalet's class, Pell also sponsors the Pell
Honors Seminar in Philosophy, Politics and Law. He is a
partner at the law firm of White & Case in New York
City where he resides with his wife, Pearl, and their two
sons, Nathan and Adam.
1982: Julie Hauptman-Jacobs
owns her own business as a writer and editor, specializing in
the health care field. She writes, edits and project-manages
feature articles, press releases, brochures, directories, newsletters,
annual reports and web copy. Hauptman-Jacobs lives in New Jersey
with her husband, 13-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter.
"The Monstrous and the Human," small sculptures
by Ronald Gonzalez, associate professor of at Harpur
College, will be on display November 6 - December 7, 2003
at the Tower Fine Arts Gallery, 180 Holley Street, State
University of New York at Brockport. Gonzalez will give
a lecture at 3:00p.m. on November 6, followed by a reception
in his honor from 4:00 - 6:00p.m. For more information,
please call 585-395-5325. Pictured right: "Strings
2002," one of Gonzalez's works coming to the show.
1993: David Balan earned
a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois in 2000.
Since then, he has worked as a staff economist at the U.S. Federal
Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.
After graduating from Harpur College, Andrew Plant
earned Master's in Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell
University in 2000. He now works in Human Resources at Verizon.
Garozzo and Tracy Grosman Garozzo `99 are pleased
to announce the birth of Benjamin Andrew on September 5,
2003, measuring 7 lbs., 2 oz. and 19 1/2 inches long. Scott
is a buyer at QVC and Tracy is a human resources manager
at Morgan Stanley. The Garozzo family resides in Kennett
Congratulations to Jennifer Dietrich and James
Jenks (Watson `03) on their marriage! The Jenks were
married in a casual, lakeside ceremony on September 27,
2003, followed by a honeymoon in Hawaii. Jennifer is a preschool
teacher in Vestal and James works for IBM in Endicott. The
Jenks live in Johnson City.
Our recent grads are already making their mark in the world.
Michael O'Connell has published his first book, While
Federalism Slept, which argues against government aid to
states and municipalities. He is currently pursuing a Master's
in Public Administration at BU.
Harpur students Hye Jin
Oh `05, Erica Weinstein `07 and Stephina Dansoh `06 kick
back in Harpur gear.
Shop the campus bookstore from
the comfort of your PC or Mac. Want to pick up a copy of the
new Harpur history book The Cornerstone? Visit The
more Harpur College merchandise, such as hats, shirts and window
stickers, contact the bookstore at 607-777-2745.
Issues of the Harpur Hotline
an issue? Want to read more? Check out: http://harpur.binghamton.edu/hotline.cgi
College Development Team Mission Statement:
Harpur College of Arts and Sciences Development Team encourages
alumni, students, faculty and friends to identify with Harpur
College's past, present and future by engaging them in events
and programs that connect them to the college. We facilitate
ways for our constituents to enrich Harpur College through their
financial contributions and personal talents and resources.