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JUNE 2009


Education Update’s 15th Anniversary Congratulations
It all started with a belief in the power of education to change people’s lives and enable them to “reach the stars through hard work.”...READ MORE

New Education Leader in NYC
Cathleen P. Black Takes the Helm as Chancellor
By Marissa Schail & Jennifer MacGregor
Many New Yorkers were perplexed and surprised when they learned of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s appointment of Cathie Black as the new schools chancellor, a woman with extensive experience as a business and media leader, but with no hands-on experience in education....READ MORE

Howard Dodson: 25 Years of Leadership at Schomburg Center
By Joan Baum, Ph.D.
A t the helm for over 25 years of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture — not just the country’s, but the world’s premier institution of its kind — Howard Dodson Jr. will hardly be retiring when he steps down from his position as director....READ MORE

From Slavery to Success: 3 Generations Operate Sylvia’s Restaurant
By Joan Baum, Ph.D.
Sylvia’s is so well known that “restaurant” or “soul food” need not be added to the name....READ MORE

America’s Black Patriots
By Joan Baum, Ph.D.
This three-disc film package is quite an achievement — artistically and pedagogically....READ MORE

MAY 2009

Graduation Around the Nation 2009
Secretary Solis Urges Hunter Grads to Harness “Ganas” at 199th Commencement
By Steven Frank
Imagine yourself as U.S. Secretary of Labor during the greatest economic downtown since the Great Depression....READ MORE

Barnard College: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton & President Debra Spar
By Joy Resmovits
At the end of her first year as Barnard College’s President, Debora Spar ushered the class of 2009 through their final moments as students with the help of a guest speaker—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who called for “digital diplomacy.”...READ MORE

Grace Outreach Graduates Speak
Grace Outreach is a program for single mothers who aged out of receiving a high school diploma....READ MORE

Teachers College: Mayor Cory Booker & President Susan Fuhrman
By Joy Resmovits
Future teachers and education policy makers graduated from Teachers College of Columbia University to strains of organ music under the arched ceiling of Riverside Church in May....READ MORE

Pakistani Student Speaks at Teachers College
Since a Fulbright Scholarship brought me to Teachers College less than two years ago, much has happened in Pakistan....READ MORE

A Long Road to Graduation
By Susan Randell
Getting my degree was a long-term goal of mine. Little did I realize how long the term would be....READ MORE

Reunions Around the Nation 2009
Honors Awarded at SUNY Downstate Medical Center
By Dr. Pola Rosen

The impressive array of brainpower at a recent reunion of doctors of all ages at SUNY Downstate Medical Center (DMC) was only surpassed by the unwavering service to humanity and the humility demonstrated by so many attendees....READ MORE

Lighting up the Amygdala
By Martin A. Silverman, M.D.
My lab partner worked so carefully that time seemed to run backwards....READ MORE

High School Reunions: Music and Art, New York City
By Dr. Pola Rosen
Originally, the “Castle on the Hill”, as its students called Music and Art High School in the 50s and 60s, occupied a lofty perch almost adjacent to The City College of New York, on 137th Street and Convent Avenue....READ MORE

MAY 2009

The Arts in Education
Exclusive Interview with Yoko Ono
By Dr. Pola Rosen
Education Update (EU): In your poignant introduction to the John Lennon Anthology, you mention the great love that you and John shared. In what way do you think your talent in the arts helped him?
Yoko Ono (YO): Just the fact that we were there together, made us realize things we would otherwise not realize....READ MORE

Jacques d’Amboise, Preeminent Dancer and Founder, National Dance Institute
By Lisa K. Winkler
“I don’t have to do anything but enjoy,” National Dance Institute (NDI) founder and ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise says. But d’Amboise has done plenty....READ MORE

An Interview with the Juilliard String Quartet
By Joan Baum, Ph.D.
Making its first appearance with its new member Nick Eanet (Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra) recently, The Juilliard String Quartet (JSQ) was led in animated conversation by noted lecturer, writer and broadcast commentator Nancy Shear....READ MORE

Making Room for the Arts
By Richard Kessler
Is the state law that created mayoral control of New York City public schools is set to expire in June, state policymakers, parents, and everyone in between is discussing what governance structure is most appropriate for New York City’s education system and its over one million students....READ MORE

Paula Nadelstern:
Unique Quilter Exhibit at American Folk Art Museum

Paula Nadelstern’s exhibit is not to be missed....READ MORE


African American Leaders
Shape History

Barack Obama on Education
By Sybil Maimin

Education has not received much attention in the Presidential campaign so far...MORE

Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III & Thurgood Marshall Academy
By Sybil Maimin
Harlem is experiencing a new Renaissance, and the 560 lucky middle and high school students who attend Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change (TMA) on West 135th Street are part of the altered landscape...MORE

Thoughts on the Candidacy of Barack Obama
By Daryl Williams
Barack Obama’s candidacy represents the culmination of an American Dream and is a glimpse of the America to come...MORE

Special Education News
Gateway School Tackles Learning Disabilities
By Sybil Maimin
Reflecting a growing need, the Gateway School, which serves children ages 5 to 12 who have learning disabilities, has grown from three students at its inception in 1964 to a current enrollment of sixty and looks forward to eventually having eighty students in a middle school to be created this fall...

David Gottlieb: Outstanding Student at Gateway School
By Dr. Pola Rosen
If David Gottlieb is representative of the student body at Gateway, then indeed the school deserves its fine reputation of nurturing, educating and leading its students to success....MORE

A Letter from Dr. Harold Koplewicz
When we launched our “Ransom Notes” public awareness campaign this December, our intent was to spark a dialogue about America’s last silent public health crisis–the millions of children who suffer from untreated psychiatric and learning disorders....MORE


A Passion for Education - Ad astra per aspera
By Pola Rosen, Ed.D.
It all started with a belief in the power of education to change people’s lives and enable them to “reach the stars through hard work.” READ MORE


Colleges Rally to Help Students in Louisiana
Helping Hurricane’s Victims (Students) Get Back To Normal
By Dr Catherine Cook-Cottone
While Louisiana and Mississippi residents struggle to evacuate, to relocate and—above all else, to survive—many of the youngest among them face years of recovery from a variety of traumas Hurricane Katrina has dispersed upon them. READ MORE

CEO Kurt Landgraf of Educational Testing Service (ETS) Helps Students of Disaster
Staff of ETS’s San Antonio office are collecting money, food, and personal hygiene items for the estimated 25,000 victims who have begun arriving at Kelly Air Force Base and area schools. ETS President and CEO Kurt Landgraf also announced the company will make a $100,000 corporate donation to the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort. READ MORE

College of Staten Island CUNY Opens Doors to “Katrina Students”
College of Staten Island President Dr. Marlene Springer announced that CSI will admit immediately any students who had planned to attend colleges now closed due to Hurricane Katrina. READ MORE

The Mayor Sends Help
Doing Our Part to Aid the Victims of Hurricane Katrina
By Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
Four years ago, after 9/11, people across the country helped New York City get back on its feet. Some came here to work with us in the recovery effort; many, many more donated to relief organizations while staying in their home communities and going about their daily lives. READ MORE


A Monumental Tribute  to American Nobelist & Student Essay Winners
By Joan Baum, Ph.D.
Theodore Roosevelt Park)—recently was the scene of a joyous and significant double celebration: a tribute to the seven 2004 American Nobel Laureates whose names had just been inscribed on the columnar Nobel Monument in the park, and an awards ceremony for the winners of the first Laureates of Tomorrow Nobel Essay Contest. READ MORE

Ellis Rubinstein, President, NY Academy of Sciences:
Catalyst for Excitement About Science in Schools
By Joan Baum, Ph.D.
Though on the job for only two and a half years, Ellis Rubinstein, the dynamic president of the 188-year old New York Academy of Science (NYAS), has been on the go constantly, enhancing, innovating, prompting, prodding, his energy and enthusiasm... READ MORE

Exploring Science at the Wetlands Institute
By Pola Rosen, Ed.D.
Would you like to see an osprey’s nest that measures three to four feet across housing a patient osprey atop whose wingspan is six feet? That and the diamondback terrapin are just two of the wonders that await at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. READ MORE

JUNE 2005

A Memorable Visit to Lafayette, Louisiana with
Robert Rauschenberg, Christopher Rauschenberg
and Darryl Pottorf
By Pola Rosen, Ed.D.
To speak to and see the master artist Rauschenberg in his hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana alongside his son, sister and friends amidst an opening of his world famous paintings, was an extraordinary experience. READ MORE

MAY 2005

The Bard College Prison Initiative
By Nazneen Malik
The brainchild of Max Kenner, the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI), was created in 1999 to address the educational needs of prisoners and to provide them with the opportunity and the means to attain higher education while remaining within the correctional system. READ MORE

School Programs at Bedford Correctional Facility
By Michelle DeSarbo
All students at Bedford must first take the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). Based on their TABE scores, the women are then placed into one of four basic education levels. READ MORE

Schools Behind Bars:
Prison College Programs Unlock
the Keys
to Human Potential

By Gillian Granoff

Despite the obvious advantages, the movements away from prison reforms that educate and rehabilitate have been cut severely in the past ten years. The concept of prison reform has been replaced by policies that are punitive and in favor of permanent incarceration.

A Glimpse into the Imprisonment of Jean Harris
By Richard Kaga
Jean Harris served 12 years at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for the murder of her long-time significant other, Dr. Herman Tarnower, author of  the best-seller, The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet.

Prison Teachers
By Nazneen Malik
I could not help but notice some of the prison inmates lingering behind, asking their teachers last minute questions as they put their notebooks away into transparent school bags. READ MORE

APRIL 2005

Ted Kooser, U.S. & Nebraska
I had to find time to write while employed in business. I worked in the life insurance business for 35 years and did my writing early in the morning before I had to get my necktie and suit on. READ MORE

Ken Brewer, Utah
I don’t think I believe in “inspiration.” I find the subjects of poetry everywhere and I write because I enjoy it. I don’t wait to be “inspired.” I write nearly every day... READ MORE

Fleda Brown, Delaware
I wrote poems off and on through all of my school years. I won an undergraduate award for my poems, but I didn’t take myself seriously until the time I was writing my dissertation. READ MORE

Tom Chandler, Rhode Island
I’m still hurdling. Tell the guy at the gas station that you’re a poet, and he’ll probably think of scented candles and Yanni albums.

Mary Crow, Colorado
Among the hurdles I’ve had to overcome are the difficulties of giving writing a high enough priority when so many things need to get done. Developing discipline. Staying awake to what I want to create.

Michael S. Harper, Poet Laureate Emeritus,
Rhode Island
My career began in the U.S. Postal Service at the Terminal Annex in downtown Los Angeles, working ‘airmail’ and mastering the canceling machine as a part time clerk on Tour 3. READ MORE

Kevin Stein, Illinois
Read everything and everybody: poetry, science, history, philosophy, and the newspapers. Most importantly, read both those you love and those who challenge your own dearest assumptions. READ MORE

Margaret Britton Vaughn, TN
I first started writing love poems to little boys in the second grade. In third grade, I wrote the lyrics to my first country song, which was entitled, “Here I Sit Alone at the Bar.” READ MORE

Poems From Featured Poet Laureates

I Don’t Hear America Singing in the South Bronx
By Gisela Rodriquez-Montalvo
I don’t hear America singing in the South Bronx.
As the sun rises over this low and dismal place,
You can hear the stirring of a people in bondage... READ MORE

Cliff Notes & Other Poems
By Donald Feinfeld, M.D.

MARCH 2005

Dr. Maya Angelou
Dr. Maya Angelou is the Reynolds Professor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC where she teaches a master class in World Poetry and Dram–atic Performance. READ MORE

Ruth Messinger, Executive Director of the American Jewish World Service
One of the things that’s fun about politics is that it’s full of challenges everyday, trying to convince people both legislative and government colleagues of new ideas and  finding new ways to make change.

Carol Berkin, Professor:
Stories of Women in History
By Dorothy Davis
Why did she pioneer women’s history? “One of the reasons was because I had a daughter. I didn’t want her to look into the past and not be able to see her face.” READ MORE

Dr. Alexandra Levine: Caring, Humanistic Physician
By Joan Baum, Ph.D.
Without intending it, Dr. Alexandra Levine, Chair of the Division of Hematology at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC), must surely find herself her at the center of two extremely important issues: the role of women in science, and research into AIDS. READ MORE

NYC Comissioner Martha Hirst Advocates Pursuing Passion Over Prestige
I think my proudest accomplishment was spearheading the effort for a landmark civil rights legislation, which was the gay rights bill enacted in 1986. READ MORE

Debunking the Stereotype of the Female Boxer:
A Visit to Gleason’s Gym
By Gillian Granoff
Women Learn Valuable Lessons
In and Out of the Ring
Ashley compares the skills needed to win a boxing match with those required in a game of chess. To defeat your opponents you must adapt your strategy to each new situation. READ MORE

Interview with Olympic Medalist Nadia Comaneci
I like to tell young people to work hard for your goals and live in the moment. You should also appreciate the goodness around you, and surround yourself with positive people. READ MORE

Mary Lu Christie: Journey to Afghanistan
By Nazneen Malik
Christie has been an active presence in Afghanistan and continues to play an instrumental role in developing educational programs for Afghan women and children. READ MORE

Seeing a Better World Through the Camera Lens:
Lisa Gossels
By Gillian Granoff
Her long brown hair cascades over her shoulder as she offers me some tea. Her maternal instincts have become a large part of her identity as a filmmaker. READ MORE

Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields’ Dedication to Education
By Liza Young
The major theme woven through her public address is the idea of inclusion: that every resident of NY have access to quality health care, education, and housing. READ MORE

Renee Fleming: Lyric Soprano Expands to Jazz
By Joan Baum, Ph.D.
The Inner Voice” is the name Renée Fleming gave to her recently published autobiography The Making of a Singer, but of course it is the outer voice, that gorgeous lyric soprano, that opera lovers and classical music critics have called one of the beautiful sounds ever heard.

Women’s City Club’s 90th Year
By Dorothy Davis
The feisty Women’s City Club of New York is 90 years young. Suffragists started it in 1915. In 1920 they got the vote. In the 1920s Eleanor Roosevelt joined and began a public service career that changed the world. READ MORE

A Female Horse Racer Blazes New Trails for Women
By Gillian Granoff
For Ms. Ingrassia being a trailblazer was never a goal. In fact she characterizes her career choice as simply “geographic.” READ MOR


Nelson Mandela: Fighter for Racial and Social Equity
Reported by Michelle Desarbo  & Liza Young
To think that this Nobel Laureate (Peace Prize 1993) who was incarcerated for 27 years and was now traveling, had consented to appear in Education Update was a tribute to the African-Americans
in this nation who have fought for peace and recognition through
poetry, law, politics, dance and the written word. READ MORE

An Interview with Poet Maya Angelou
By Joan Baum, Ph.D.
Yes, this is the woman whose epigrams for Hallmark cards can take important ideas and press them into concise and telling lines, such as, If you must look back do so “forgivingly”; if you will look forward, do so “prayerfully”; but the wisest course would be “to be present in the present gratefully.” READ MORE

Lorna Dove, M.D., Healer Columbia U. College of Physicians & Surgeons
By Liza Young
Dr. Lorna Dove, is a Clinical Hepatologist at the Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation (CLDT) at Columbia University Medical Center as well as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. READ MORE

Dr. Walter Massey:President, Morehouse College
By Gillian Granoff
Diversity begins at home, according to Dr. Walter Massey, the President of Morehouse College, an all-male, historically black college, with prestigious graduates such as Martin Luther King. READ MORE

New York’s Manumission (Free the Slaves!) Society & Its African Free School 1785-1849
By Dorothy Davis
People who say that the Declaration of Independence’s “all men are created equal” should have applied to more than property-owning white men might be surprised to know that at the time Alexander Hamilton and many other New York leaders felt that slaves should be given their freedom and the right to vote. READ MORE

Giants’ Tiki Barber Supports Arts Education
By Nazneen Malik
Recently, the Museum of Modern Art, in conjunction with JPMorgan Chase and football running back Tiki Barber of the New York Giants, launched a new program, Exploring the Modern, aimed at incorporating the Arts into New York City elementary and middle school education.

The Jazz of Wess Anderson
By Joan Baum, Ph.D
Nicknames are telling. In the case of the well known saxophonist Wess[el] Anderson, “Warmdaddy” was bestowed after a drummer in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra commented on Wess’s willingness to extend his hand to give autographs, especially to young people.

Speaking with James Earl Jones
By Dorothy Davis
Recently we joined James Earl Jones at the Oxonian Society. Brilliantly speaking on “The Color of Delusion,”he wove together events of his life, ruminations on the ironies of “racism,” and the tough philosophy forged from their collision. READ MORE

In Motion: The African-American Migration
Experience at the Schomburg Center

By Dorothy Davis
A glittering array of celebrities appeared at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in Harlem, to celebrate the brilliant new online resource. READ MORE


“Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made
Modern America” at NY Historical Society

By Dorothy Davis
Education Update Publisher Pola Rosen and I toured the blockbuster Alexander Hamilton exhibit at the New-York Historical Society one recent morning with James G. Basker, who was wearing his hat as its Project Director. Under his other hats Dr. Basker is President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Ann Whitney Olin Professor of English at Barnard College, Columbia University.

Celebrate New Cultures and Customs in the
New Year at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan!

Experience Dora’s Latino World This January By Visiting The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Where Fun And Educational Programs And Performances Focus On International Culture and Customs!

Hospitality Management Excellence at
Cornell University

By Nazneen Malik
The Cornell School of Hotel Administration has one of the most comprehensive hospitality management programs in the world. Founded in 1922 as the first of its kind, the Hotel School has had a tremendous impact on the development of the hospitality industry.



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