Academic Year 2020 - 2021
Note: some media hits marked with an asterisk may be behind a paywall
WIRED — Professor of Communications Adam Klein was quoted in The World Was Primed for Protest Conspiracy Theories.
Poughkeepsie Journal — Professor of Psychology Angela Legg was quoted in Running offers social connection over self-reliance.
ART SPIEL — Professor of Art Barbara Friedman was interviewed for Art Spiel in Artists on Coping: Barbara Friedman.
[VIDEO] BLACK NEWS CHANNEL — Costume Supervisor for Pace Performing Arts Niiamar Felder was interviewed by Ladies First on the state of fashion.
[VIDEO] CBS New York — Professor of Criminal Justice Darrin Porcher was interviewed on CBS New York on police reform.
[PODCAST] Yale Radio — Professor of Art Barbara Friedman was interviewed by Brainard Carey on Yale Radio.
Sportda — Professor of Communications Emilie Zaslow was interviewed about the science behind crooked smiles in Make crooked teeth attractive.
[VIDEO] YouTube — Professor of Art Jillian McDonald was interviewed by Hallwalls Gallery Visual Arts curator John Massier.
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Art and Humanities, Faculty
MCVA Prof Produces Film on Silence
Associate Professor of Media, Communications, and Visual Arts and Emmy-award winning filmmaker Allen Oren had his documentary, “A Day in the Life of Silence,” premiere on WNYE on March 9, 2021. The 30-minute documentary, which explores the virtues of silence and helps viewers appreciate the quiet life, features no audio and highlights life during the coronavirus quarantine with footage from all over the world. It is available nationally on public television stations in March, so check your local listings for the documentary's show times.
Social and Natural Sciences, Faculty, Research, Award
POL Prof Expands Research on Nuclear Weapons
What are the humanitarian and environmental consequences of nuclear weapons? Associate Professor of Political Science Matthew Bolton, PhD, a noted expert on the topic, recently addressed this question as coeditor of a special section in the peer-reviewed academic journal Global Policy. Bolton, director of the International Disarmament Institute at Pace University, also coauthored a number of the included articles. One, “Case Study of UK and US Test Programs at Kiritimati (Christmas) and Malden Islands, Republic of Kiribati,” developed with Sydney Tisch ’19 ’23, Women’s and Gender Studies, MA (School of Education), describes the impact of nuclear testing on these Pacific Ocean islands.
“In writing this article, we want to help provide an evidence base that can be used in the context of policy decision making in the TPNW [2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons]," Bolton said. "We aim to work in solidarity with people affected by nuclear weapons detonations in the Pacific region and beyond.”
Bolton, along with Department of Peace and Justice Studies Associate Professor Emily Welty, PhD, was instrumental in negotiations of the treaty through the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons ( ICAN ). ICAN was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017, and the treaty entered into force on January 22, 2021.
Learn more about the new research on the International Disarmament Institute's Blog.
Social and Natural Sciences, Faculty, Research
COVID lockdowns and PSY Health
Has the strain of mandatory COVID-19 lockdowns affected your mental health? The psychological toll has been widely discussed in the media, and now, a new analysis from Pace University Associate Professor of Psychology Anthony Mancini, PhD, and Gabriele Prati, a researcher at the Università di Bologna, provides groundbreaking insight that indicates we might be more resilient than we thought.
Social and Natural Science, Faculty, Research
Unlocking the Secrets of Bee Propolis
Propolis, a sticky residue produced by bees and used in the construction of hives, has been recognized for its medicinal properties since ancient times. Today, Pace University Associate Professor of Chemistry Elmer-Rico Mojica, PhD, and his students are working to gain a better understanding of the material.
Social and Natural Science, Faculty, Research
The Impact of Online Dating Service Advertising
In the world of online dating services (ODS), advertising may be the third wheel, according to award-winning new research from Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Aditi Paul, PhD. Her findings, presented recently at the 7th International Communication Management Conference, showed that advertising messages for ODS are standardized globally, not aligning with the values of different cultures. “Consistent exposure to such standardized advertisements can transform people’s dating practices,” Paul said.
Arts and Humanities, Faculty, Student, Research
Survival in Today's Media Market
How can local news organizations, especially digital ventures, ensure survival in today's media market? New research from Department of Media, Communications, and Visual Arts Assistant Professor Mirjana Pantic, PhD, demonstrates that establishing a unique niche is one key strategy.
Arts and Humanities, Faculty, Research
Unearthing Hidden Women’s History
The Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950, has been referred to in the United States as “the forgotten war,” for the limited consideration it has received in comparison to World War I, II, and the Vietnam War. Assistant Professor of History Michelle Chase, PhD, is working to change that, particularly when it comes to an all-but-forgotten protest movement led by a group of women in Cuba.
Arts and Humanities, Faculty, Research, Award
Brooklyn Honors Profs’ Anti-Nuke Work
The New York Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (NYCAN)—founded in part by Associate Professors Matthew Bolton, PhD, and Emily Welty, PhD—has been honored with an award from the Borough of Brooklyn, New York. The commendation recognizes NYCAN as among the “extraordinary organizations and individuals who strive to improve the quality of life for all; and seeking and promoting nonviolent approaches to conflict resolution that will help to make Brooklyn and the world safe and a better place to live, work and raise a family.” It also acknowledges “NYCAN for being a broad, inclusive campaign, focused on mobilizing civil society around the world to support the specific objective of prohibiting and eliminating nuclear weapons.”
Bolton and Welty are well known for their work on this issue. They were instrumental in negotiations of a nuclear weapons ban treaty with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons ( ICAN ), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 . The treaty entered into force on January 22, 2021, and ICAN was also recently recognized by the Borough of Manhattan for the “contributions to the City” from its work “toward eliminating nuclear weapons and averting their catastrophic consequences.”
“Nuclear weapons are a local, not just international issue. As the place where the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb began, New York City has a moral responsibility to end the threat of nuclear weapons,” Welty said. “Recognition from the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn is very meaningful to us, showing that New Yorkers want to end the era of ‘mutually assured destruction.’ NYCAN is championing legislation that will draw attention to this legacy, as well as the ongoing threat nuclear weapons pose to this city.”
Currently, she and Bolton are working with NYCAN to advocate for the divestment of city pension funds from nuclear weapons producing entities and the creation of an advisory committee to examine nuclear disarmament and issues related to recognizing and reaffirming New York city as a nuclear weapons-free zone. More information is available in this Nuclear Ban Treaty Toolkit .
Arts and Humanities, Student, Faculty, Research
Pace Team Aids in Police Reform
When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 203 last spring, following the death of George Floyd, he mandated that all local governments conduct a review of current policing and develop a plan to address issues of racial bias and better support the communities they serve.
The Village of Port Chester recently enlisted the help of Pace University faculty and students to carry out the directive. Department of Public Administration professors Andrew Crosby, PhD, and Gina Scutelnicu, PhD, received an external award of $9,600 to develop a community survey to evaluate public opinions on policing in Port Chester.
Working with MPA students Gregory Rivera ’21, and Kayla Guarino ’21, the survey they developed received more than 900 responses, 82 percent online and 18 percent on paper.
“The data will assist the village [in assessing the current status of the Port Chester Police Department] through the perceptions of the residential and business communities,” said Scutelnicu, who is also department chair. “It provides valuable information on current operations and suggestions for improvement.”
Survey results are now available on the Village of Port Chester website.
“As a person who is passionate about helping to create positive change, being part of a project that will hopefully generate reform for Port Chester is an invaluable experience,” said Rivera.
Faculty, Research, Social and Natural Sciences
Profs Selected as Periclean Faculty Leaders
Assistant Professors Anne Toomey, PhD, and Monica Palta, PhD, in the Department of Environmental Studies and Science, have been selected for the first cohort of the Periclean Faculty Leaders (PFLs) program in STEM and Social Sciences. The program was established last year to support scholars in incorporating civic engagement into their curriculum and empower students to tackle real-world problems. Toomey and Palta will receive funding to coteach a course, expected to be offered this fall, that will bring students and community-based waterfront groups together through the implementation of civic science. "Civic science has great potential both as an empowering force for local communities and as a tool for public engagement and advocacy, as community-based groups gain the capacity to conduct research for the benefit of their own communities,” Toomey said. The PFLs program in STEM and Social Science is supported by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and The Eugene M. Lang Foundation.
Alumni, Arts and Humanities
PPA Alumna Stars in Feature Film
With the release of Judas and the Black Messiah by first-time writer-director Shaka King, Pace Performing Arts alumna Dominique Fishback is shining in the spotlight and grabbing hold of the mic.
The film tells the real-life story of former Black Panther leader Fred Hampton (Academy Award nominee Daniel Kaluuya) and William O’Neal (Lakeith Stanfield), a small-time criminal recruited as an informant in an FBI operation to take down Hampton. Fishback stars as Deborah Johnson (known today as Akua Njeri), Hampton’s fiancée, who was more than eight months pregnant at the violent conclusion of the operation.
Now in the running for a 2021 Oscar nomination, Judas and the Black Messiah premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival (held virtually). In celebrating the moment with Vogue magazine, Fishback, seen last year in Project Power (Netflix), discussed her hope that the film’s themes of protest and standing up against injustice provide inspiration for today’s social justice movements. At Pace, she was a member of the Black Student Union, and later earned rave reviews for her one-woman show Subverted, a portrait of Black identity.
“There’s power in the people. In our collective presence and morality. Self-determination is worth fighting for,” Fishback told the magazine.
The full interview and photos are available at Vogue.com. Judas and the Black Messiah hits theaters and HBO Max on February 12.
Faculty, Research, Social and Natural Sciences
Analysis: COVID lockdowns and PSY Health
Has the stress of mandatory COVID-19 lockdowns affected your mental health? The psychological toll has been widely discussed in the media, and now, a new analysis from Pace University Associate Professor of Psychology Anthony Mancini, PhD, and Gabriele Prati, a researcher at the Università di Bologna, provides groundbreaking insight that indicates we might be more resilient than we thought.
“We found that, in the early stages at least, the effect on mental health symptoms was quite small,” Mancini said. He and Prati analyzed 25 studies involving more than 72,000 participants, and findings showed no statistically significant negative impact on social support, loneliness, general distress, negative affect, and suicide risk among the general population. However, Mancini also notes that the effects showed significant variation across studies, which suggests that the psychological effect of lockdowns may differ depending on factors such as social group or geographical location. This may also be due in-part to the disparate health impact of the pandemic.
The full study, “The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdowns: A Review and Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Studies and Natural Experiment,” has been published in the journal Psychological Medicine.
Student, Research, Social and Natural Sciences
Pace Chemistry Club Wins Top Honor
The Pace Chemistry Club has received the top honor of "Outstanding Student Chapter” by the American Chemical Society for 2019-2020. This represents a second win of this title for the organization, which hosts different activities that help students apply chemistry to the real world, such as guest speaker invitations, tours to local points of scientific interest, and the opportunity to present at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium and participate in National Chemistry Week. David Gonzalez ’21, chapter president, said “I’m always trying to come up with new ways to engage members by doing and creating fun events that would benefit them. This recognition means a lot because it signifies the officers’ and members’ hard work being involved with the club!”
Faculty, Research, Social and Natural Sciences
Psy Prof on Children and YouTube Learning
Assistant Professor of Psychology Brenna Hassinger-Das, PhD, has co-authored research with a colleague from The Ohio State University indicating that very young children prefer to watch YouTube more than phone videos. They found that the children believe YouTube holds greater educational value than either phone or television videos, and the children were marginally less likely to believe that individuals on YouTube are real versus people in a video on a phone. “Understanding YouTube’s potential to encourage learning will help educators and caregivers make informed choices about how to help children become critical consumers of media, as well how to design remote learning environments," Hassinger-Das said. She will continue the work by examining how children actually learn from YouTube, versus how they think they can learn from it. Katherine Aloisi ‘25, PsyD, Maruf Hossain ’20, MA Psychology, and Madeleine Pearce ’19, BA Psychology, also assisted in the research.
Arts and Humanities, Students
Pace Student Addresses UN
United Nations delegates from around the world heard from Pace University student Cindy Kamtchoum ’21 earlier this month, when she delivered a statement on youth and disarmament. Kamtchoum, who is majoring in peace and justice studies and has interned with the Scottish chapter of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, delivered the statement virtually. It was authored primarily by Pace political science students.
“It is really energizing to be a young person speaking in front of seasoned adults and have people praise you for the things that you have said,” Kamtchoum said.
Social and Natural Sciences, Faculty, Award
Communication Association Honors Prof
Pace University Assistant Professor of Communications Melvin Williams, PhD, has received the 2020 Outstanding Journal Article award from the National Communication Association’s (NCA) African-American Communication and Culture Division (AACD) and Black Caucus. Williams’ Journal of Sports Media article titled “Better than Steph Curry and More Profitable Than LeBron James: An Analysis of LaVar Ball's Agenda Building of the Ball Brothers” was coauthored by Matthew Cotton and recognized for its exploration of representations of Black fathers in sports media.
“Historically, media images of Black men have been almost universally derogatory,” Williams said. “Black fathers need to be uplifted in American mass and sports media, and as a result, I remain grateful for the opportunity to do so through this research and the NCA award."
The award will be presented to Williams at an upcoming AACD meeting, to be held virtually.
Art and Humanities, Student
PPA Expresses Gratitude for Good
The Actors Fund, a 501 (c)(3) organization that provides a support safety net to performing arts and entertainment professionals, has received a $1,500 donation from an anonymous donor on behalf of the entire Pace School of Performing Arts community. The donation came about through a social media campaign started when the University went to remote learning this spring. Students, alumni, and friends were encouraged to submit short creative videos showcasing expressions of appreciation for the people, places and things they value. The videos ranged from individual testimonial-style commentaries to a “socially-distanced” flash mob performance, and for each submission the donor pledged a $5 contribution, up to $1,500.
"At a time when we are all abruptly torn away from classes, productions and each other, the campaign gave us a chance to think about and express what we are grateful for,” Pace School of Performing Arts Executive Director Grant Kretchik said. “I was grateful for that.”
Social and Natural Sciences, Art and Humanities, Student, Award
Students Receive Summer Research Awards
Paris Baker '21, an environmental science student, and Kendra Dascano '22, majoring in applied psychology and human relations and management (Lubin School of Business), are recipients of the 2020 Dyson College Summer Research Awards, sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research Experiences. Baker, with Assistant Professor Monica Palta, is studying how New York City’s altered nitrogen cycle has contributed to increased nitrogen pollution in urban waterways. Dascano is working with Assistant Professor Courtney Gosnell to examine the potential importance of capitalization support in times of high stress and trauma, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both students receive a $2,000 stipend and up to $500 for supplies and travel related to their research.
Art and Humanities, Faculty, Award
Professor Awarded to Develop Civic Engagement Course
Associate Professor of English Stephanie Hsu, PhD, was selected for the 2020-21 cohort of the Mellon Periclean Faculty Leadership Program in the Humanities. Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this Project Pericles consortium program was established to foster civic engagement in teaching and learning. Hsu received a $4,000 award toward development of a special section of Book Club, an introductory English course, in partnership with a New York City nonprofit that operates family homeless shelters.Students will learn about writing composition, criticism and pedagogy alongside youth and young adults whose education has been disrupted by housing instability. Part of the course will focus on the concept of antiracism, the active practice of promoting racial tolerance, and the ways in which oppressive forces mutually reinforce issues such as homelessness. “It's an honor to be selected because this program brings attention to the people and schools that are fully exploring what civic engagement means,” Hsu said. “Because civic engagement is required in our core curriculum, Pace students—and faculty—learn with and from our community members, and we can feel the direct pulse of the social and cultural forces that are shaping our democracy today. These core ideals help to develop the leadership skills we all so clearly need.”
Social and Natural Sciences, Faculty
Psy Professor Authors Article on COVID-19 and Mental Health
Associate Professor of Psychology Anthony Mancini, PhD, has authored a commentary in a special COVID-19 issue of Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, a journal publication of the American Psychological Association. In the piece, he discusses the variation in individual responses to the pandemic, and how making universal statements about mental health impact misses this variation. An expert on the effects of trauma, with a focus on resiliency, Mancini says its important to understand the mental health impact of the pandemic on many levels. "The pandemic is also an opportunity to study how a kind of social deprivation affects people, how we respond to it and fill in the gaps, knowledge that can potentially lead to insights into other mental health issues," Mancini said. "Needless to say, we also want to be prepared for future pandemics.”
Pace Pleasantville Designated as a Bee Campus
In spring 2019, the Pace Pleasantville campus became certified as a Bee Campus for its commitment to creating a sustainable habitat for pollinators. The initiative was led by GreenPace and the Dyson College Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, with committee members including Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Science Michael Rubbo, Director of Capital Projects William Carey, Director of Energy and Resiliency Ryan McEnany, and Noah Brennan '21, who gathered the necessary information for the application process. The idea was born out of Rubbo’s interest in pollinator conservation and existing activities by Dyson’s Nature Center, which houses bee hives for demonstration and education, planting pollinator gardens on campus. Future plans include building more gardens so that students can both study them and develop solutions for conservation, creating educational signage, and hosting pollinator-focused events. On the importance of this designation, Rubbo says, “it shows our commitment to creating a sustainable campus that will function both as healthy ecosystem for native plants and animals and as a living laboratory for students.”
Student, Faculty, Award, Dyson College
SOF Inducts New Members, Honors Dean Herrmann
Twenty-three new members, including seventeen students and six faculty, have been inducted into the Society of Fellows (SOF), Dyson College’s premier honors organization. This year’s class is named in honored of Nira Herrmann, Dyson Dean since 2005, and the initiation ceremony was held virtually on May 14. The SOF’s mission is to foster dialogue and scholarship across the fields of the arts and sciences through enriching experiences for students with exceptional academic and artistic abilities. "The SOF brings together people who love learning, who are willing to work hard and think harder to better understand the world, and who are willing to invest in learning about a variety of topics under the overall rubric of ‘the liberal arts,’” said Dean Hermann.