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Westport News featured Dyson Professor Maria Luskay in "Westport, Weston bees offer lesson in resiliency in documentary"

05/04/2021

Westport News featured Dyson Professor Maria Luskay in "Westport, Weston bees offer lesson in resiliency in documentary"

The world watched as a fire raged through the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in April 2019, leaving a wake of destruction. As the smoke cleared, people soon learned that the rooftop beehives survived, offering some hope amid a tragedy. It captivated the interest of Maria Luskay, a professor of media, communications and digital arts at nearby Pace University, so much so that she decided it would be the subject of her annual documentary program.

Read the full Westport News article.

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NorthJersey.com featured Pace University's Bee Aware Documentary in "Bee-keeping documentary is all the buzz for Earth Day"

04/23/2021

NorthJersey.com featured Pace University's Bee Aware Documentary in "Bee-keeping documentary is all the buzz for Earth Day"

Sweet are the uses of adversity, Shakespeare said.

Sweet as honey, in this case.

Some film students at Westchester's Pace University, who had planned a trip to Paris to make a documentary about Notre Dame's famous bees, found themselves stung by COVID. However, they turned their disappointment to good use — and made a great documentary about bees, Paris or no Paris.

"This is a story of perseverance," said Jerry McKinstry, spokesman for Pace University. "They did not give up. They went ongoing. And they produced a really good documentary."

You can see the fruits of their labors when "Bee Aware" premieres online at 7:30 p.m. tonight for Earth Day.

It was a bitter pill, to be sure. The 20 film students had been poring over their phrasebooks in anticipation of visiting Paris during the 2020 spring break.

They were all part of a course called "Producing the Documentary," taught by film professor Maria Luskay, which climaxes every year — naturally — with the production of a documentary. And that documentary usually involves a trip to an exotic place — Puerto Rico, Brazil, Hawaii, Curaçao. "Usually it's an environmental story," McKinstry said. "They've gone all over the world. The last semester, they were going to Paris. They did all the pre-production work."

Read the full NorthJersey.com article.

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Press Release: Pace University Premieres Bee Aware Documentary on Earth Day

04/23/2021

Press Release: Pace University Premieres Bee Aware Documentary on Earth Day

The film, a passion project of the PaceDocs Team, was entirely produced and edited during the pandemic

After much hard work, dedication and anticipation, Pace University’s documentary film team – PaceDocs – last night premiered Bee Aware, a film focusing on the environmental threats facing one of the most important pollinators for humankind.

The film aptly debuted online on Earth Day as it spotlights the vital role bees play in our food supply; their importance to the environment; and some of the challenges facing the insect and the environment. It was followed by a virtual Q&A with the filmmakers via Zoom.

“The PaceDocs team, under the guidance of Professor Maria Luskay, always does remarkable work,” said Marvin Krislov, president of Pace University. “This year, they did something extraordinary, persevering through a pandemic to create a truly inspiring, thought-provoking, and poignant documentary. ‘Bee Aware’ is a wonderful example of Pace students’ commitment to hard work, hands-on education, and environmental conservation. I couldn’t be prouder of this group of young filmmakers.”

The film was shot on location at bee farms throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and can be viewed here

Initially, the class -- made up of 20 graduate and undergraduate students from around the country -- was set to embark on a trip to Paris, France last spring to spotlight the rooftop bees that survived the historic Cathedral of Notre Dame fire. But the global pandemic halted all international travel, and the university, like most others around the world, immediately pivoted to remote learning. 

Professor Luskay, whose “Producing the Documentary” course is part of the Department of Media, Communications, and Visual Arts, knew the show must go on. Luskay, assisted by Professor Lou Guarneri and the PaceDocs team scrambled and came up with “Plan Bee.”

“This year’s lessons were ones of endurance and adaptation,” said Professor Luskay. “The students really learned how to adapt, change and solve problems as the world around them changed. I couldn’t be more proud of them. They produced a great film.”

The popular class is part of Pace University’s highly regarded film program, and as part of it, students have been introduced to documentary filmmaking, teamwork, problem-solving, and organization. They’ve also been introduced to different areas of the world where they’ve experienced firsthand a number of important environmental and humanitarian issues -- and have been challenged to document them in remote locations around the globe. 

In recent years, Pace filmmakers have produced documentaries about the earthquakes in Hawaii (2019); the endurance of the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria (2018); Cuba at a cultural crossroads (2016); reviving Curacao’s coral reefs (2015); as well as many other poignant films.

“Every year, Dyson College’s student filmmakers travel abroad to produce a documentary that shines a light on an important issue, educating us all,” said Tresmaine R. Grimes, dean, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education. “I am so very proud of this year’s team, as they not only produced a compelling, informative film, but also rose to overcome the unique challenges posed by the pandemic. Congratulations to them and Professors Luskay and Guarneri for another stellar PaceDocs production.”

Although difficult at times, students say the experience was invaluable, and gave them a real dose of what it’s like to make a film under challenging circumstances.

“We had a special experience,” said Austin Braun, a graduate student from Stockholm, New Jersey. “We learned how to produce a film online. We learned that we can make a powerful film with all of the technology we have … It’s the future of filmmaking.”

While it may very well be a sign of things to come in the industry, getting there was no small accomplishment. In addition to finding new locations to film and experts to speak with over the summer, the class had to learn how to edit together while working remotely across the region. 

“We worked our tails off,” Braun added. “Through hard work and determination, we got it done.”

For Cory Kinchla, a graduating senior from Tewksbury, Mass., the journey has been wild. A digital cinema and filmmaking major, he chose Pace specifically for its documentary program.  Clearly it was upsetting to start over, and “chaotic at times” but the endgame was worth it. 

“It was a real life experience,” Kinchla said. “The whole experience was about adapting, improvising and overcoming. We can say we produced a documentary through a pandemic and made it happen. We were able to pull it together. That’s the reward.”

About Pace University: Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique program that combines rigorous academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides. From its beginnings as an accounting school in 1906, Pace has grown to three campuses, enrolling 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 150 majors and programs, across a range of disciplines: arts, sciences, business, health care, technology, law, education, and more. The university also has one of the most competitive performing arts programs in the country. Pace has a signature, newly renovated campus in New York City, located in the heart of vibrant Lower Manhattan, next to Wall Street and City Hall, and two campuses in Westchester County, New York: a 200-acre picturesque Pleasantville Campus and the Elisabeth Haub School of Law in White Plains. Follow us on Twitter or on the Pace News website.

About Dyson College of Arts and Sciences: Pace University’s liberal arts college, Dyson College, offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law), as well as many courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements. The College offers access to numerous opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices. www.pace.edu/dyson

 

 

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Institute for Family Studies featured Dyson professor Aditi Paul's study in "5 Questions With Family Studies: Jon Birger on Women's Untapped Power in Today's Dating Market"

04/22/2021

Institute for Family Studies featured Dyson professor Aditi Paul's study in "5 Questions With Family Studies: Jon Birger on Women's Untapped Power in Today's Dating Market"

According to a 2019 Pew Research survey, 55% of women say dating has gotten harder over the past decade, 53% consider online dating to be unsafe, and 19% of women say they’ve been threatened with physical violence while on the apps. As if that weren’t bad enough, research also shows that relationships begun online are more likely to fail than those that start the old-fashioned ways. A study by Aditi Paul, a professor at Pace University in New York, found that couples who first meet in the real world are twice as likely to marry as those who meet online. 

Read the full Institute for Family Studies article. 

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Daily Magazine featured Dyson Professor Matthew Breay Bolton in "How bees and drones team up to find landmines"

03/30/2021

Daily Magazine featured Dyson Professor Matthew Breay Bolton in "How bees and drones team up to find landmines"

Political rather than technical problems often hold up mine clearance, says Matthew Breay Bolton. "Good technological innovation that can help to… delineate the boundaries and confirm a hazard area are really helpful," says Bolton at Pace University in New York, author of Political Minefields: The Struggle against Automated Killing. However, he adds that there are no quick fixes to the minefield problem. Often, political wrangling and lack of resources mean clearance projects can stall, no matter what technologies are available to help. Plus, in countries such as Yemen, mines continue to be planted to this day.

Read the full Daily Magazine article.

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