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7 posts from June 2013

Tots and Seniors: Creating Community Spaces on the Superblocks

Jun 28, 2013

Going beyond what was required in its agreement with the city for the approval of its development plans, NYU is creating space for not one, but two local nonprofit groups in the University’s Washington Square Village complex. We’ll soon be retrofitting spaces for a new childcare facility and a senior outreach group in ground floor locations.

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Pell Kvelling

Jun 8, 2013

On May 30th, in the context of a coming U.S. Supreme Court decision on race and affirmative action that virtually everyone in higher education is anticipating, the New York Times had an article about socio-economic diversity in higher education.

Eligibility for federal Pell grants – which is determined by a government formula -- is considered the key sign of a student's – and a student's family's -- economic need. The piece, by Richard Pérez- Peña, examines how widely the percentage of Pell-eligible students varies among universities.

A chart that accompanies the story has some surprises – not just variation between public university systems, but also the fact that some schools with the reputation for the most generous financial aid do not end up with highest percentage of Pell-eligible students.

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Faculty Books: The Global Pigeon

Jun 7, 2013


Around Washington Square these days, it's been all Hawk Talk, what with the first flight of a trio of red-tailed hawks that had hatched outside the window of John Sexton's office.

But perhaps no creature is more synonymous with urban life than another, less glamorous, bird: the pigeon.

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Endless Education

Jun 6, 2013

Last week, NYU once again partnered with the World Science Festival, which held dozens of events across the city—offering titles such as "Spooky Action: The Drama of Quantum Mechanics," "Cheers to Science! A Drinkable Feast of Beer, Biotechnology, and Archaeology," "Cellular Surgeons: The New Era of Nanomedicine," and "Multiverse: One Universe or Many?" As they have been since 2008, many of these lectures and discussions were centered across Washington Square.

Even for those of us now more than a few years (or, well, decades) removed from school, we could attend these sessions, sit in those smallish seats, and be transported back to a time when nothing was asked of us but to discover, process, and draw our own conclusions. Of course, the real world demands far different things on a typical day, but being inspired and challenged shouldn’t end when our academic careers do.

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Getting to Know You…

Jun 5, 2013

Chelsea Garbell
Chelsea Garbell

We know—you've heard this all before. The idea that the only way to really understand someone is to, as Harper Lee wrote, walk around in their shoes for a while. But in a recent Commencement speech by Steinhardt graduate Chelsea Garbell, who founded the club Bridges: Muslim-Jewish Interfaith Dialogue@NYU, it all rang so true as she discussed the notion that she—as an Orthodox Jewish girl from Seattle—wasn't supposed to be leaving college with so many Muslim friends.

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Inventing a Better Rat Trap

Jun 4, 2013


An opened “bait station” – a device for delivering poisoned food (or “bait”) to rats; this one is fitted with a mechanical snap-trap mechanism instead of poison. 

From the first two weeks in March, when the red-tailed hawks who nest outside John Sexton’s office first lay their eggs, until August, when the parents and juvenile birds have a wider range for their hunting, both the NYC Parks Department and the University stop putting poisoned bait around Washington Square to minimize the chance of the hawks eating a poisoned rat.

It appears to have worked: None of the Washington Square hawks have gotten sick over the past three years. Some fellow hawks uptown haven’t been so lucky.

No story is ever that simple, though. It turns out that no other methods work nearly as well in controlling rats as baiting.

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Split Decision: A Vote of No Confidence at Social Work Doesn’t Pass, and One at Tisch Does

Jun 3, 2013

Since the faculty of the Gallatin School voted, two other school’s faculties took votes of “no confidence”: the Silver School of Social Work (May 28, 2013), and the Tisch School of the Arts (May 20, 2013).

The School of Social Work defeated the “no confidence” measure: 12 faculty voted for “no confidence,” 20 voted against it, and 9 abstained. At Tisch, 93 faculty voted for the “no confidence” measure, 76 voted against it, and 16 abstained.

Continue reading "Split Decision: A Vote of No Confidence at Social Work Doesn’t Pass, and One at Tisch Does" »

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