For the Record -- Week of March 10, 2023

Publication Date

Amanda Iverson, director of residential life, is receiving the Judy Spain Award from the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I). Named for the first woman president of the organization, the award recognizes an individual who has contributed to the LGBTQIA+ community through activities and interventions that promote positive growth, development and education. Iverson has served as co-chair of ACUHO-I’s LGBTQIA+ Network and as a presenter at many association events. She is also recognized for her professional work which includes drafting domestic partner policies for live-in staff that accommodates LGBTQ employees and partners, driving policy around inclusive language, and promoting gender-inclusive housing. Through her work as co-convener of Union’s LGBTQ+ Committee and as promoter of campus Pride events, she has contributed to elevating the College’s Campus Pride Index score. Finally, the award cites her service as a role model for other LGBTQIA+ students, faculty and staff. A member of the Union community since 2013, her 24 years in residential life leadership also includes positions at Rensselaer and Dartmouth. She will receive the award in June at the association’s annual conference in Portland, Ore.

The College has been issued a patent on a method for detecting roasting of food items. The invention was led by Samuel Amanuel, associate professor of physics and astronomy; and his colleagues, Palmyra Catravas, former associate professor of electrical, computer and biomedical engineering; and Joanne Kehlbeck, professor of chemistry. “My lab has been studying the roasting of coffee beans since 2012,” Amanuel said. “Over the years, we have investigated the process through various experimental techniques - calorimetric, thermogravimetric, weight analysis, electron microscopy and infrared spectroscopy. Our experimental results have helped us to understand the underlying mechanisms better and we are able to examine why and how certain physical changes herald and echo the chemical changes that occur during roasting. One of these, which led to the patent, is the fact that we are able to mark the inception and development of roasting from the molecular vibration of the gasses emitted during roasting. This is helpful for micro and large roasters who seek real-time feedback during roasting. It becomes increasingly important for those who do fast roasting, where the roasting window can be as short as a few minutes.”

Francis Wilkin, senior lecturer in physics and astronomy, was published in the December 2022 issue of the Astrophysical Journal. “The Periodic Signals of Nova V1674 Herculis (2021),” co-authored with Andrew Cahaly ’22 and Joe Patterson of Columbia University, found the orbital and white dwarf spin periods of the binary star. The contributed data were taken during the Fall 2021 WAC course Ast 230 Observational Astronomy and included data from the Union College Observatory.

Lewis Davis, Thomas Armstrong Professor of Economics; Dolores Garrido, visiting assistant professor of economics; and Carolina Missura ’22 have published an article in Sustainability. "Inherited Patience and the Taste for Environmental Quality" provides evidence that an individual's inherited cultural values influence their preference for environmentalism. The paper began as Missura's senior thesis project.

Saladdin Ahmed, visiting assistant professor of political science, has written a new book, Critical Theory from the Margins: Horizons of Possibility in the Age of Extremism. Putting at work a negative pedagogy centered around learning from unlearning, the book problematizes and boldly challenges today’s culturalist discourses, camouflaged racisms and masked fascisms. Razmig Keucheyan, a critical theorist and sociologist at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, writes, “Identifying glimmers of hope in our dark ages is no easy task, yet that is exactly what Saladdin Ahmed achieves in this book. Uncompromising analysis of the current stage of capitalism and of the fascist ideologies it carries along, combined with innovative interpretations of critical theories of the past, lead to the delineation of ‘horizons of possibility’ that could provide strategic guidance to contemporary global social movements." Pre-ordering is available at the SUNY Press website.

Zoe Oxley, professor of political science, delivered the annual Leslie G. Rude Memorial Lecture at Hartwick College on March 1. She presented findings from her research project exploring the gendered nature of children's political socialization.

George Shaw, professor emeritus of geosciences, was a local organizer for the conference of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Northeast Region held at College Park Hall recently. CCL is a non-partisan/bipartisan group which trains thousands of ordinary citizens nationwide to effectively lobby Congress to pass legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and globally. They are also working on additional legislative efforts to address the impacts of fossil fuel use and climate change.

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