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Fernando Orellana, assistant professor of visual arts, had his work highlighted in the online UK edition of Wired Magazine. Orellana creates miniature cars out of Play-Doh using an extruder that he created. The machine takes 25 pound batches of Play-Doh, which translates to 700 or 800 miniature cars that he then preserves in epoxy. Orellana also had his Play-Doh creations featured in a solo show at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The visual arts professor said he’s to make an extruder this summer that will make humans, houses and cows rather than cars. The new project will demonstrate how the planet is always seeing a steady increase in people, houses and cows.

Lek Meyer, Dining Services worker, was named Outstanding Student of the Year by the New York Association for Continuing/Community Education. She received a citation on the floor of the New York State Assembly, which was read by Assemblyman James Tedisco ‘72. A native of Thailand, Meyer has been taking English as a Second Language courses at the Washington Irving Adult Education Center in Schenectady. She was one of 20 students to be chosen from among New York state’s 70,000 continuing education students. Meyer is married to James Meyer, a senior programming analyst for ITS.

Daniel Mosquera, associate professor of Spanish and Latin American studies and director of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, served as translator for the world-renowned Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzman. The director was recently visiting the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy where he discussed his work and the making of his recent film, “Nostalgia for the Light.”

Charles Steckler, professor of theater and resident scenic designer, is the featured artist in a solo exhibition, “Charles Steckler: Sketcher Recalls,” at The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy. The show features a selection of 24 pen and ink drawings from Steckler’s series, Per Passa il Tempo, meaning passing of time. The abstract markings in these works, shapes and shadings suggest imaginary landscapes and botanical inventions. They derive from a daily practice, emerging from Steckler’s hand’s undirected encounter with tools and materials and the energies embedded in muscle memory. The exhibit runs through April 22 in the President’s Gallery. Steckler’s work was featured in the Times Union last week.

Kenneth DeBono, the Gilbert R. Livingston Professor of the Behavioral Sciences, and Kim Perry ’12recently presented a paper “On the Psychology of Self-Monitoring: Individual Differences in Theory of Mind” at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association in Cambridge, Mass. The paper discussed how individual differences in the personality construct of self-monitoring appear to be related to differences in individuals’ abilities to infer the motives and goals of others.

Stephen Berk, the Henry and Sally Schaffer Professor of Holocaust and Jewish Studies, will serve as the 2011 Scholar in Residence at Congregation Ohav Shalom’s 100th anniversary. Berk’s discussion, which will be divided over two days starting tonight, will discuss “Zion in America: The American Jewish Experience.”

Lorraine Morales Cox, associate professor of art history and director of American Studies, presented her paper “You So Funny: Satire, Wit and Political Critique in the Art of Michael Arcega” as part of the Humor Studies Caucus at the American Studies Association Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The paper addressed the work of this Filipino-American artist who blends intellectual engagement, satirical wit and ironic humor with such elements as religious icons and military symbols.

Randall Childree, assistant professor of classics, gave a lecture at the Poughkeepsie Public Library as part of its “Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives” series. Childree focused on “Encountering the ‘Other,’” points of contact between different people, cultures and beliefs. The series was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.