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April 2014 Archives

Artsy presents BAM's 10th Annual Art Auction! 

Artworks will be on view at Whitebox Art Center from May 3-5, 2014, followed by a closing night party from 7:00 to 10:00PM ET. There is no buyer's premium. Bidding for this auction will close on May 5, 2014 at 10:00PM ET. Please take special note of the outstanding work of Linda Sirow! 

To view works and bid online, click here.

To see Linda Sirow's work, click here

WHAT:           The Department of Dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center will offer a free screening.  No appointments needed!  First come, first served based on availability.  1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime, which is why free screenings are so important to offer the community.

WHEN:           Monday, May 5, 2014

                        1:30 PM - 5:30 PM

WHERE:        ColumbiaDoctors Midtown

                        51 West 51st Street

                        Suite 390

                       Columbia University Medical Center

                        161 Fort Washington Avenue

                        Herbert Irving Pavilion, 12th floor

YAI will host its 2014 International Conference on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in New York City on April 28 - May 1 at the New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas in midtown Manhattan. Every year for more than three decades, the YAI Network has sponsored the Annual International Conference, which attracts an audience of more than 3,000 professionals, family members and people with disabilities. People from all over the world come together to learn and share insights on critical issues.

The YAI Network provides a full range of health and human services to people of all ages with developmental and learning disabilities and their families. Each year, thousands of babies are diagnosed at birth. More children exhibit symptoms during infancy or later. Still others develop a disability as the result of an injury or illness before age 22. The term "developmental disability" covers a broad range of diagnoses that include intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and learning disabilities.

The conference is designed to provide attendees with hands-on access to innovative ideas, new models of services and new thinking at a time where change is a necessity, not a choice. Please see the following link to a full press release about the conferencehttp://www.yai.org/about/newsroom/press-releases/2014-yai-conference-april.html.

Program Keynotes:

    • Thorkil Sonne, President, Specialisterne USA, will discuss "The Power of Difference" during the opening keynote session onMonday, April 28, 9 a.m - noon. Specialisterne USA assesses, trains and employs individuals with autism as consultants in IT and other tech sectors.
    • Mike Veny, Mental Health Speaker, Drumming Workshop Facilitator, will explore "Transforming Stigma into Strength" during Monday's keynote session.
    • Stephen Ritz, Founder of Green Bronx Machine; Green Initiative Educator; U.S. Green Building Council Ambassador; 1% For The Planet National Ambassador, will present "Farming for the Future: Investing in Your Community to Change the World" during Monday's keynote session from 9 a.m.-noon. Green Bronx Machine is dedicated to changing mind-sets and landscapes while harvesting hope and cultivating opportunities inclusively for everyone.
    • Francoise LeGoues, Vice President of Transformation, YAI, and former Vice President of Innovation, Office of the CIO, IBM, will delve into "The Meaning of Transformation" during Monday's keynote session.
    • Wendy Mayer, Vice President of Worldwide Innovation at Pfizer, will deliver a keynote address at Premier HealthCare Training Institute's 13th Annual Full-Day Conference "Patients with Complex Needs: Creating a Value-Based Model of Care," on Wednesday, April 30.  She will present at 11 a.m. on "How to Inspire an Environment for Creating Innovation."
    • Rick Guidotti, Founder, Positive Exposure and an award-winning fashion photographer, will present "Beauty for Change" during Monday's keynote session.
    • Al Condeluci, CEO, Community Living and Support Services (CLASS), will return to explore Social Capital: The Key to Community, during Monday's keynote session. He also will present an expanded workshop, 1:30-4:30 p.m., later that day. Attendees will learn first-hand how to develop a blueprint for change, 9 a.m-noon, Tuesday.
    • Tamar Heller, Professor and Head, Dept. of Disability and Human Development; Director, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Developmental Disabilities, University of Illinois at Chicago, will host a special session for family caregivers, 5:30-7:30 p.m., on Wednesday, April 30. She also will present 9 a.m.-noon, on Thursday, May 1, as part of the aging track. 



Graduating senior Simone Gordon capped a stellar four years at The City College of New York by receiving a 2014-2015 Fulbright U.S. Student Award. The childhood education major, who graduates May 30 with a 3.9 GPA, will travel to India on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.

"I will be teaching English at one of three locations that the Fulbright Program will determine, either Chennai, Kolkata, or Delhi," said Ms. Gordon. "This is a wonderful opportunity for me to grow professionally and personally. Even as I teach I plan to learn about India's education system, about their "best teaching practices" and "teaching methods."

After the Fulbright, she plans to pursue graduate studies focusing on K-12 education policy, with either or curriculum instruction, and then embark on a career as a general education teacher. "I'll also share my Indian experiences and the knowledge I'll garner there with others hoping to encourage them to seek similar travel and learning opportunities, she added.

This is the latest honor for the Jamaican immigrant and Brooklyn resident. She was a Colin Powell Fellow for Leadership and Service (2011-2013); received the Josh and Judy Weston Public Service Scholarship (2012-2013), the Dr. Sidney I. and Eleanor T. Silverman Human Values Award for Outstanding Leadership (2012) and the Lucy Gordon Education Alumni Award (2012). In addition, she was inducted into the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society in 2012.

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; the School of Education; the Grove School of Engineering; the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in the United States.

Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program's purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Fulbright Scholars are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

The Dwight Schools, a global network of independent International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools spanning three continents, in partnership with Shanghai Qibao High School, announce the fall 2014 opening of the Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School, the first, independent, Chinese-American collaborative high school in China. Approved by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School will be the first Sino-foreign cooperatively run high school in Shanghai officially approved by the Ministry of Education of China.

The new Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School, located in the Minhang district, is a three-year, full-time bilingual boarding school for students in grades 10-12. An IB World School candidate, Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School will introduce a new model of education in China, integrating an international perspective with courses from Chinese compulsory education, including Chinese language, history, math, geography, and politics. Students will have the option to participate in the Shanghai academic proficiency exams; and graduates will be eligible to receive a Dwight School diploma, a Shanghai Qibao High School joint diploma, and an IB diploma (pending authorization), enabling them to apply to top-tier universities anywhere in the world.

"We are delighted that Dwight was selected to partner with the esteemed Qibao High School, a highly respected leader in Shanghai with a network of 12 schools," said Stephen Spahn, Chancellor of The Dwight Schools. "Dwight is committed to educating the next generation of global leaders and to forging innovative collaborative relationships with those who want to bring shared value to students through education. We look forward to working closely and creatively with Qibao's expert administration and faculty to design a model school that offers the best of Chinese and IB thinking, preparing graduates for success in higher education and the global marketplace."

"We highly appreciate Dwight's educational concept of 'igniting the spark of genius in every child'," said Qiu Zhonghai, the Principal of Qibao Middle School. "It is our deep wish to create a superb international school fusing the essence of Chinese and Western education, to bring new sparks of wisdom for the development of China-U.S. education, and to prepare students who choose the school for a wonderful life. The formal establishment of Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School is not only a landmark event for New York and Shanghai to deepen international cooperation, but also a landmark in deepening the reform of basic education in Shanghai."

The Dwight Schools are among the world's finest IB educators with campuses in New York, London, Seoul, and on Vancouver Island. Dwight was selected as a partner by the Shanghai Education Committee for its 141-year track record of success in delivering a personalized, world-class education and for excellence in teaching the academically vigorous IB curriculum, recognized as the "gold standard" worldwide. Dwight was the first school in the U.S. to offer the comprehensive IB curriculum (Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma Programs) for students from preschool through grade 12.

In the first year, Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School anticipates enrolling 100 students from Shanghai and 50 from other areas of China for its tenth-grade class. International students will also be encouraged to apply. In future, when the school is at full capacity, an estimated 1,000 students will fill all three grades. Highly qualified Chinese and international teachers are joining the faculty; and the school will be managed jointly by administrators from both Shanghai Qibao High School and Dwight School, ensuring that students benefit from the expertise of both partners.

Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School looks forward to building an enriching student exchange program as well as online collaborations with Dwight global campuses in New York, London, Seoul, and on Vancouver Island.

The Dwight Schools are dedicated to igniting the spark of genius in every child, and rest on three pillars: personalized learning, community, and global vision. With campuses in New York, London, Seoul, and on Vancouver Island, The Dwight Schools educate 2,000 students representing over 40 countries. Graduates attend such leading colleges and universities worldwide as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, NYU, Oxford, and the University of Edinburgh. Dwight School, located on Manhattan's Upper West Side, and Dwight School London are IB Open World Schools, two of only six originally selected from 3,700 IB World Schools to pilot IB education online.#

On Thursday April 24 From 8 Am-Noon  45 Clarinet Students Will Participate In A Special Workshop Taught By Award-Winning Clarinetist Liam Burke


Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, the renowned summer arts day camp which has introduced the arts to more than 60,000 children, will present a special on-campus workshop on Thursday April 24 from 8 AM to 12 Noon at the Maurice Hexter Center, titled "A Morning of Clarinet 2014." The unique event, to be attended by 45 clarinet students from several Suffolk County school districts, will be taught by Liam Burke, an award-winning and fast-rising young clarinetist who has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Mostly Mozart Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's and other major ensembles. Usdan Center is at 185 Colonial Springs Road in Wheatley Heights (Huntington), Long Island.

The event is sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union, which is also sponsoring Usdan's new Micro-Grant program benefiting more than 70 students from North Babylon High School. In addition, Bethpage supports the Center's long-running Usdan/Bethpage Scholar in the Arts program, providing Usdan scholarships for students who are "adopted" by their Bethpage community branch, and receive recognition there for the remainder of the year.

"A Morning of Clarinet 2014" is designed to inspire student musicians as they participate in a master class and play in a massed clarinet ensemble. The students are from North Babylon, Brentwood, Commack, Islip and Deer Park High Schools. The workshop will also feature performances by Liam Burke and by the massed clarinet student ensemble.

Liam Burke's other credits include Ensemble ACJW, the American Symphony Orchestra, the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra, the New World Symphony, the Juilliard Orchestra and in composer John Adams' Chamber Symphony at the Kennedy Center, at Mr. Adams' invitation. A recent graduate of The Juilliard School of Music, he was a recipient of Juilliard's prestigious Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership, and was named winner of the Juilliard Clarinet Concerto Competition and the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, existing solely to serve its members and has experienced rapid growth in recent years to become a strong alternative to banks. Bethpage was approved for the largest federal community charter in the U.S. in 2003 and now is New York State's largest credit union and Long Island's primary community financial institution with 232,000 members, 27 branches and 60 shared service center locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Bethpage maintains branch locations in Bay Shore, Bay Shore King Kullen, Bethpage, Central Islip, Commack King Kullen, East Meadow NuHealth, Elmont, Farmingdale, Freeport, Glen Cove, Hempstead, Huntington, Levittown King Kullen, Lynbrook, Massapequa, Melville, Mineola, North Babylon, Patchogue, Port Jefferson, Riverhead, Seaford, Smithtown, Roosevelt, Valley Stream King Kullen, West Babylon and Westbury with over 425 surcharge-free ATMs including King Kullen, CVS Pharmacy, 7-11 and Costco locations throughout Long Island. For more information, call 1-800-628-7070 or visit https://www.bethpagefcu.com.

Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, many of whose alumni have joined such major music ensembles as the Boston Pops and the San Francisco Symphony, and also include Natalie Portman, Mariah Carey and Jane Monheit, is now entering its 47th season. The Center is open to all young people from age 6 to 18. Usdan's program features more than 40 four and seven-week programs in music, dance, theater, visual arts, writing, nature & ecology, and chess. No audition is needed for most programs - rather, admission is based on an expression of interest in the arts. Each summer, 1,600 students are transported to the Center in air-conditioned buses each day. One-third of Usdan's students attend on scholarship. Although the mission of the Center is for every child to establish a relationship with the arts, the unique stimulation of the Center has caused many to go on to arts careers.  In addition to its regular programs, Usdan offers opportunities for advanced high school- age performing and visual artists. These include Music Staff Internships, a Summer Ballet Intensive, and a program of immersion in the visual arts. Usdan is an agency of the UJA-Federation of New York.

Usdan Center is currently holding Open Houses for its 2014 season, which begins June 30. For information, call (631) 643-7900, write to info@usdan.com, or visit www.usdan.com.


Inspired to help support scientific research and resources for students in the Science Technologies, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Academy, Dr. Amy Wong has awarded a $250,000 gift to the Queensborough Community College Fund, Inc. in memory of her late husband, Dr. Pak (Peter) Wong (January 10, 1935-January 9, 2014), who was a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the college for more than 30 years, three of which as Chair.

Although Amy and her late husband Pak both studied at several other institutions of higher learning, they frequently spoke of the special place that Queensborough held in their hearts as a community college because of its strong commitment to diversity, mentorship and quality education.

Indeed, Pak was deeply grateful to America for allowing him to achieve exceptional scholarly success, and he expressed his gratitude in a uniquely American way by dedicating himself to making a difference not only in teaching and research opportunities for his students, but also making a difference in the communities where he lived and worked.

"Pak, who was one of six siblings, was the only member of his family to attend college," said his widow. "His immigrant journey to America was truly remarkable and he always felt a strong bond with his students, knowing that many of them shared a similar experience."

A significant percentage of outstanding students at Queensborough are first-generation college students who persevere to obtain a quality education, no matter what obstacles they might face. They represent some 80 nationalities from over 100 countries around the world.

Dr. Wong was born in 1935 in the city of Zhongshan, China. As a youth, he was not particularly interested in school; however, he was a voracious reader and taught himself English by pouring through issues of Reader's Digest.

Dr. Wong went on to Kings High School in Hong Kong where he discovered his passion for chemistry. He was determined to travel overseas to continue his studies in the sciences. His devoted mother, unable to read or write herself, encouraged her son to save his money to pursue his dream of getting an education.

Eventually, he was able to travel to Australia where he obtained his Bachelor's in Science degree from New South Wales University of Technology, in 1962. And it was in Australia where he met his wife, Amy, who at the time was enrolled at the University of Sydney.

In 1965, they left Australia and came to the U.S. where Dr. Wong was accepted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to earn a master's degree. He pursued his graduate work with Dr. John E. Willard, a prominent radiation chemist. Afterwards, he earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1968.

In the early 70's, Pak applied for a post-doctoral residency scholarship at Brookhaven National Research Laboratory. There, as a Research Associate, he co-published six scientific papers on the topic of physical chemistry.

During this period, he was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Queensborough Community College. His capacity to understand the academic needs of his students was coupled with his vision to introduce new technology, promote undergraduate research and open doors for aspiring women instructors in the department.

"Pak was one of the finest chemists that ever served our college," said Paris D. Svoronos, a distinguished Professor of the Department of Chemistry for over 30 years. "We shared a vision to expand the department and to create more research opportunities for students, irrespective of their backgrounds."

Undergraduate research is one of seven High Impact Practices, recognized as best practices in higher education to increase retention and graduation rates. Students participate in current research from all of the sciences, through research courses and grant-funded undergraduate research programs, some of which provide summer stipends and opportunities for independent research. Students work on projects, attend seminars and are encouraged to present or publish their results.

Dr. Sasan Karimi, Chair of the Chemistry Department added, "Dr. Wong was a dedicated faculty member and a man of integrity who led the department towards excellence. He not only encouraged his faculty to be excellent teachers, he advocated and supported faculty research. I for one will always miss him."

Dr. Wong frequently expressed his "genuine interest in my students' academic performance and achievements. Many of my former students who transferred to other institutions and went on to have successful careers maintained connections with me. That gave me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, knowing that my influence went beyond that of the classroom."

In 1975 Dr. Wong was awarded tenure, and the following year he was promoted to Associate Professor. He was awarded full professorship in 1993, and in 1998 was elected Chair of the Department. He later stepped down due to health issues, becoming Professor Emeritus in 2005.


Bethpage Federal Credit Union announces the recipients of its first "micro" grant program to assist music students from the North Babylon school district who will be attending Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts (www.usdan.com), the renowned summer arts day camp. The Bethpage "micro" grants will pay for the students' many additional expenses normally associated with year-round music study that can become a stumbling block for underserved families. As part of the grant program, Bethpage will also provide full 2014 summer program scholarships for Usdan Center's 47th season, which begins June 30. More than 70 North Babylon High School students are beneficiaries of the grant. 

Some examples of the way the micro grants will be used throughout the year include: bus transportation to the Usdan campus, music supplies, a private tutor to be used before an audition or performance, transportation to an audition, or even professional clothes.

"We are delighted to extend our partnership with Usdan to help these young accomplished performers study music without worrying about the expenses of supplies, transportation and other key necessities," said Linda Armyn, Senior Vice President, Bethpage. "These students demonstrate amazing qualities of musical talent, academic excellence and fine character, and we're proud to help them achieve their goals."

Bethpage's new micro grant program was designed as an extension to the existing Usdan/Bethpage Scholar in the Arts program that has been in existence since 2011. "Scholar in the Arts has provided many students the opportunity to study at Usdan when they otherwise might not have had the financial means to do so," continued Armyn.

Usdan's Executive Director, Dale Lewis, adds, "We thank Bethpage Federal Credit Union for their ongoing support of the Usdan Center, and of this unique collaboration with the North Babylon Schools. Our friends at Bethpage have thought "out of the box" in their sponsorship of this program of micro grants that will surely be invaluable to North Babylon students and their families."  

Bethpage Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, existing solely to serve its members and has experienced rapid growth in recent years to become a strong alternative to banks. Bethpage was approved for the largest federal community charter in the U.S. in 2003 and now is New York State's largest credit union and Long Island's primary community financial institution with 232,000 members, 27 branches and 60 shared service center locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties. As a financial cooperative, Bethpage offers the best-in-market rates, low fees and world-class service, and a full menu of personal and commercial financial services.

Bethpage maintains branch locations in Bay Shore, Bay Shore King Kullen, Bethpage, Central Islip, Commack King Kullen, East Meadow NuHealth, Elmont, Farmingdale, Freeport, Glen Cove, Hempstead, Huntington, Levittown King Kullen, Lynbrook, Massapequa, Melville, Mineola, North Babylon, Patchogue, Port Jefferson, Riverhead, Seaford, Smithtown, Roosevelt, Valley Stream King Kullen, West Babylon and Westbury with over 425 surcharge-free ATMs including King Kullen, CVS Pharmacy, 7-11 and Costco locations throughout Long Island. For more information, call (800) 628-7070 or visit https://www.bethpagefcu.com.

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