Skip to content

People in the news



Several members of the Union community were featured in Hola Capital a multicultural magazine aimed at Capital Region residents. They included President Stephen C. Ainlay, Senior Director of Campus Diversity and Affirmative Action Gretchel Hathaway, Kenney Community Center Director Angela Tatem and Senior Associate Dean of Admissions Vernon Castillo. Union was lauded by the magazine for making diversity a priority: “This small liberal arts college has show that diversity is far more than a goal; it’s an educational necessity,” the article said.

Christine Henseler, associate professor of Spanish, received a book contract from Routledge to publish her edited volume, “Generation X Goes Global: Mapping a Youth Culture in Motion.” Henseler’s second volume, “Hybrid Storyspaces: Redefining the Critical Enterprise in Twenty-First Century Hispanic Literature,” is being published online by the Hispanic Issues Series, based at the University of Minnesota.

April Selley, senior lecturer in English, delivered a paper at the 22nd annual American Literature Association Conference in Boston. The talk, “Poe, His Peers, and His Progeny,” discussed Selley’s strategies for teaching Poe in conjunction with other authors in junior and senior English seminars at the College.

Christina Tonnesen-Friedman, assistant professor of mathematics, was awarded a Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant for Mathematicians. The $35,000 grant will support her project, “Kaehler Geometry,” over five years by promoting research collaborations and travel.

Grace Delgado ’14 received a $1,000 award for her fall term abroad to Vietnam through the Freeman-ASIA Awards program. The award program supports undergraduate students to study in East or Southeast Asia.

Rebecca Surman, associate professor of physics, was featured in the summer issue of the alumni publication, Geneseo Scene. Surman was in an article discussing the successes of the college’s Goldwater Scholars.

William Finlay, professor of theater and dance and director of the Yulman Theater, directed The Saratoga Shakespeare Company’s summer production of “The Merchant of Venice.” The show, held in Saratoga’s Congress Park, is a widely attended event in the city’s summer season.

Jill Salvo, associate professor of biology, searched for the presence of Asian clams in Lake George over the summer. Working as part of RPI’s Darrin Fresh Water Institute, Salvo detected the clams at Norowal Marina in Bolton Landing. Advocacy groups are working to identify the locations of the Asian clams to help prevent the spread of invasive species, which can be harmful to Lake George. 

Stephen Berk, the Henry and Sally Schaffer Professor of Holocaust and Jewish Studies, recently led a discussion on the movie “Sarah’s Key” at the Spectrum 8 Theater in Albany. The movie, starring Kristin Scott Thomas, is about an American journalist who is commissioned to write an article about the Vel d’Hiv Roundup, the infamous Nazi-decreed mass arrest of French Jews in Paris in 1942. The screenings were sponsored by the Holocaust Survivors and Friends Education Center and the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York.

Don Rodbell, chair of the Geology Department, recently received a $44,294 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research program. Rodbell’s collaborative project, “Seismic Survey of Lake Junin, Peru in Preparation for Deep Drilling,” with researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Minnesota-Duluth, generated critical site survey information for planned deep drilling of Lake Junin.

Barbara Danowski, associate professor of biology, will lead a book review at noon, Wednesday, Sept. 14 at the William K. Sanford Town Library in Colonie. Danowski will discuss “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. The book details the legacy of Lacks, whose cells, taken without her knowledge in 1951, became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in-vitro fertilization and more.

To submit an item to People in the News, e-mail gowanc@union.edu.