Three Fairfield University students elected to town's legislative body Ismar Schorsch, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, to deliver Bennett lecture at Fairfield University Fairfield University radio deejay inducted in the Western Swing Society of Seattle's Hall of Fame Federal government awards Fairfield University nearly $300,000 to host Russian teachers learning about the United States Kenneth W. Stein, an expert in Middle Eastern history and politics, to speak at Fairfield University Russian youth dance troupe to perform at Quick Center Grammy-winning country artist Kathy Mattea to perform at Quick Center Fairfield University philosophy professor available to discuss independent research on United States dealings with Iraq Former head of United Illuminating Co. Richard J. Grossi to receive Fairfield University's School of Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award Thrilling radio drama to be performed at Quick Center William H. Pitt Foundation grant to help Bridgeport multicultural students attend Fairfield University
Three Fairfield University students were elected on Nov. 4 to the town of Fairfield's legislative body, the Representative Town Meeting (RTM). Republican Jerald Schlichting, a sophomore from Warwick, N.Y., received 699 votes, Democrat Domenic Paniccia, a senior from Monroe, Conn., received 607 votes, and Michael Franz, a junior from Bradford, Mass., got 604 votes to represent the university in the town's 4th legislative district.
Republican Henry Humphreys, a director in the university's Residence Life Office who lives on campus, also was elected to a seat in the 4th district, garnering 637 votes.
During the campaign, the students cited relations with year-round residents at Fairfield Beach, where several hundred students live during the academic year, as the most important issue concerning students.
"The school needs leadership, especially at the beach," said Michael Franz, a political science major and vice president of the university's College Democrats.
"Dealing with student concerns and the beach will be top priority," said Jerald Schlichting, co-director of major dances and special events for the student association.
"There needs to be more communication between students and year-round residents at the beach," said Dom Paniccia, a marketing major.
Franz, an admirer of the late Robert F. Kennedy, said the obligation of residents of his district to the community does not stop at the Fairfield border. "I think wealthy Fairfield has an obligation to its neighbor, Bridgeport," he said.
Franz is an residence advisor in Gonzaga Hall, a weight room monitor in the Recreation Complex, hosts a current events show on the student radio station, WVOF-88.5 FM, on Tuesdays, and is a member of the Honors Program and the Multicultural Task Force. He thought running for the RTM would be a "fun thing to do and to help the school."
Schlichting, whose uncle was once mayor of Cranford, N.J., said it is not enough to complain about politics if you really want to effect change. "It is so easy to sit back and watch. I hate to sit back and watch others do things," he said.
A sophomore, Schlichting, who received a Fairfield University Achievement Scholarship and Carl and Dorothy Bennett Scholarship to attend the university, plays JV soccer, and has served meals at Prospect House in Bridgeport with faculty, administrators and students of the School of Business. "I have a conscious and am honest to a fault. I want to get involved in things I can have an impact on."
His political philosophy is derived, he said, from his late grandfather, an Irish immigrant who worked tirelessly as a fruit peddler in New Jersey during the Depression and emerged from it well off. Jerry remembers working in his grandfather's nursery as a young boy, and was instilled with the "value of hard work."
Paniccia, who worked as a volunteer on Bill Finch's unsuccessful campaign against Connecticut Congressman Christopher Shays, said students "can rely on him."
He said he would like to have Fairfield First Selectman Ken Flatto visit the campus so students know who is running the town and have an opportunity to express their opinions.
As a high school sophomore in Monroe (Conn.), Paniccia was a delegate for the Connecticut Youth Congress at the State Capitol in Hartford, worked as a volunteer on the campaign Tom Ganim, a Fairfield alumnus who ran unsuccessfully for a State Senate seat.
He currently is a residence advisor in Dolan Hall and holds a job as an assistant to the information specialist for the marketing company, MCA of Westport. He's looking for a job and a place to live in Fairfield so that when he graduates in May he can retain his RTM seat.
The reason he ran for office? "In politics, one person can make a difference and I want to be a voice for people who are not participants in the political process."
Posted on November 1, 1997
Ismar Schorsch, a noted Jewish scholar and chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, will deliver the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Lecture in Judaic Studies on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m., at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
Dr. Schorsch's talk, entitled "The Future of American Judaism," will explore whether an open society is good for traditional religion.
"At the beginning of the 20th century, the pundits certainly thought not and predicted its imminent demise," he said. "Yet its resurgence in the final quarter of the century has confounded their judgment. In a society with few boundaries, traditional religion may be the most attractive alternative."
Dr. Schorsch is the sixth chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and its Rabbi Herman Abramovitz Professor of Jewish History. Founded in 1886, JTS is a Jewish university that serves as the spiritual and academic center of Conservative Judaism in the United States. The seminary includes undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, rabbinical training, five research institutes and several other facilities.
As the leader of JTS for the past 14 years, Dr. Schorsch has worked to convey his vision of Conservative Judaism as the most authentic contemporary expression of rabbinic Judaism. Under his leadership, the seminary has reached beyond its Manhattan campus, introducing religious alternatives and new leadership in Israel through its Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. The seminary also trains students at its Project Judaica in Moscow and hosts Schechter schools and Ramah camps across North America in an effort to raise a generation of literate and observant young Jews.
Dr. Schorsch, author of the highly-acclaimed 1995 monograph, "Sacred Cluster: The Core Values of Conservative Judaism," believes the survival of the Jewish people depends on education. To that end, the seminary created the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education in 1996. In addition, Dr. Schorsch was a guiding force behind the Solomon Schechter High School of New York, sparking national interest in Conservative day high schools.
Dr. Schorsch's interest in Israel is evident in his many public statements and writings supporting expanded rights and a strengthened religious identity for Conservative Jews in Israel. His longtime support of the peace process led President Clinton to invite him to join the official presidential delegation witnessing the peace treaty signing between Jordan and Israel in October 1994.
In 2000, Tufts University awarded Dr. Schorsch an honorary degree. The Russian State University in 1998 awarded him an honorary degree in recognition of the extraordinary success of Project Judaica, the first time in that country's history that such an honor was given to a Jewish scholar.
During his tenure as chancellor, Dr. Schorsch has become a recognized spokesman on a range of critical issues, from the environment to separation of church and state to welfare reform. Working closely with former Vice President Al Gore, he helped create the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, a coalition of religious and scientific leaders that strives to use moral influence to effect change.
Dr. Schorsch was ordained by JTS in 1962 and holds master's degrees from JTS and Columbia University. He holds a Ph.D. in Jewish history from Columbia.
The Bennett lecture series was created through a grant from the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Foundation and aims to improve relations between Catholics and Jews and improve understanding of a common heritage. In 1993, the Greenwich, Conn. couple and their children created the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Chair in Judaic Studies, held by Dr. Ellen M. Umansky, which is the cornerstone of the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies at Fairfield University.
Dr. Schorsch's lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. Media inquiries should be made to Dana Ambrosini, Fairfield University's assistant director of media relations, at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726.
Posted on September 15, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 57
As a 2002 inductee into the Pioneers of Western Swing Hall of Fame, Mike Gross has found many birds of a feather. The likeable deejay behind "Swingin' West," a weekly radio program that runs on WVOF-FM, Fairfield University radio, was inducted at the Western Swing Music Society of Seattle's 12th annual Pioneers of Western Swing Festival.
Mr. Gross was attracted to Western Music by the 1930s and 1940s Singing Cowboy movies, with Gene Autry, Tex Ritter, Roy Rogers, Eddie Dean, Jimmy Wakely and the Sons of the Pioneers when they were introduced on TV in the 1950s. First broadcast on WSHU-FM on Sunday, February 17, 1980, "Swingin' West" is now a WVOF staple, running on Friday nights from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. on FM at 88.5. Mr. Gross' program is also disseminated worldwide via the Internet.
In 2000, the Academy of Western Artists honored Mr. Gross as deejay of the year in Fort Worth, Texas. Mr. Gross was the first non-guitar player to receive the appreciation award from the Pedal Steel Guitar Association in 1992. He also reviews Western Swing albums and books for niche publications and he is the M.C. and announcer for Fairfield Counts - an 18-piece Glenn Miller/Duke Ellington type band - for their summer concerts.
"Although I have been strongly dedicated to the preservation and awareness of this music for the past 22 years, I could not dream in my wildest imagination that I would be inducted into the same Hall of Fame as Western Swing greats like Bob Wills, Johnny Gimble, Hank Thompson, Cindy Walker, Spade Cooley, etc.," Mr. Gross said. "I feel very honored and flattered."
Posted on September 15, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 68
Fairfield University will host 12 Russian university professors over the next three years to increase their understanding of American culture and train them in different teaching methods.
With a tinderbox of tensions continuing to spark in the Middle East, now more than ever, the United States must create bonds with Russia and the other former Soviet states, said David McFadden, Ph.D., chair of the history department and director of the Russian and Eastern European Studies program at Fairfield University.
The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs received 36 proposals for programs working in Russia beginning this year. Nine were ranked as highly competitive, including Fairfield's. Only seven received funding and some were not given all they originally requested. Fairfield received full funding, $294,806 in all. The winning proposals were chosen by a panel with subject and regional expertise.
The transition from Communism is far from over, Dr. McFadden said, and keeping the lines of communication open with Russia is integral to maintaining a friendly relationship. "It's still one of the most important countries in the world," Dr. McFadden said, adding that both Russia and the United States will be involved in efforts to reduce instability in the Middle East and Central Asia.
But many Russians have enduring misconceptions about the United States and Americans, said Dr. Katherine Kidd, director of the International Studies program at Fairfield University.
The prevailing thought is often that: "Americans are rich and arrogant and simply interested in enforcing their will on other people," Dr. McFadden said.
During the Cold War, studies of English and the United States in Russia were very contained, Dr. Kidd said, noting that after the fall of the Soviet Union, interest in American studies ballooned. But thanks to the constraints of the Cold War years, Russian professors did not have, and still do not have, the information and resources to meet that need, Dr. Kidd said. "They had relatively limited resources," she said.
For example, courses in American literature often contain no social analysis of the author or the times in which the piece was written, Dr. Kidd said. So while the Russian professors might be able to offer students a flawless lesson in the writing itself, they would not be able to give them any historical context for the piece.
Fairfield University hopes to increase Russian understanding of Americans by teaching its teachers about our society. Over four semesters, 12 Russian professors from four universities will spend a semester each at Fairfield University, learning about American culture and American teaching methods.
The Russian professors will attend Fairfield University classes in their fields. They will be required to make a proposal for a new course and elements of two other courses to bring back to Russia. The professors will also be given $2,500 to purchase books, cassettes and other resources to use in their courses.
Bringing the professors to the United States, in turn, offers Fairfield students a chance to learn about Russian people and their culture, Dr. McFadden remarked.
Fairfield University's push to bring Russian professors here is really an expansion of a smaller initiative the Russian and Eastern European Studies program has been doing. With about $15,000 from the Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation in New York and some $5,000 each from Fairfield University and the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg, the program has been sending professors from Fairfield to Herzen University in St. Petersburg for about two weeks each of the last three years.
The Fairfield faculty members, from a variety of fields, worked with Russian counterparts in the same field for a week. Each pair of professors would create a workshop that the Russian professor could offer students as well as a lecture the pair delivered together at a four-day seminar in St. Petersburg that was presented to representatives from more than a dozen universities in Northwestern Russia. The final step was to publish the seminar proceedings. Orin Grossman, Ph.D., academic vice president at Fairfield University, is one of the Fairfield educators who joined in that experience.
"After taking part in our annual two-week program in St. Petersburg, I am convinced that the exchange of ideas that takes place between the Russian professors and our own faculty is just the kind of interaction that promotes respect and understanding between our two countries," Dr. Grossman said.
"Dr. David McFadden and Dr. Kate Kidd have developed an innovative program that links American Studies and the teaching of English to Russian Universities throughout the Northwest region of Russia, including St. Petersburg. In addition, the grant allows us to bring Russian professors to our campus and we look forward to welcoming them."
Dr. Grossman, academic vice president at Fairfield University, offered a seminar on 20th Century American music that included a biographical sketch of the composers, lyrics, cassettes and crib sheets explaining colloquialisms and slang phrases.
Dr. Grossman's holistic approach to teaching about such classics as "Easter Parade" were fabulously popular with the Russian professors, many of whom took his entire lesson back to their university classes, Dr. Kidd said.
"We were getting our feet wet, learning what worked and what didn't work," Dr. Kidd commented.
With the state department grant, Fairfield has the opportunity to vastly expand the program by bringing Russian professors here. Their presence, in turn, will educate Fairfield students about their Russian counterparts, Dr. McFadden said.
"We've been plotting this idea for at least two or three years," Dr. McFadden said.
Fairfield had applied once before for the grant, but was denied, Dr. McFadden said. Now thanks to its successful ventures with Herzen, Fairfield has been able to show that it has the contacts and wherewithal to succeed, Dr. McFadden said.
Also bolstering Fairfield's bid was its experience with the Junior Faculty Development Program. For the past four years, Fairfield has been among the host schools for professors from former Soviet nations brought to the United States by JFDP, which is also funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. That program, which is administered by the American Councils for International Education, pays for Russian professors who have not yet received the Russian equivalent of a doctoral degree, to study at American universities.
Posted on September 15, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 58
Kenneth W. Stein, Ph.D., a noted author and Emory University professor in Middle Eastern history and Israeli studies, will speak at Fairfield University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business on Monday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. Dr. Stein, who will visit the university as a Judaic Studies scholar in residence, will address the timely topic "American Interests and Foreign Policy Toward the Middle East: Past, Present and Future."
In addition to the public lecture, Dr. Stein will address students, faculty and local clergy during his residency. This program is made possible through the generosity of David and Edith Chaifetz of Fairfield.
Dr. Stein is the William E. Schatten Professor of Contemporary Middle Eastern History and Israeli Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., and was an advisor on Middle Eastern issues to former President Jimmy Carter for 20 years. His scholarly publications include "Heroic Diplomacy: Sadat, Kissinger, Carter, Begin and the Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace" (Routledge, 1999), and "Making Peace Between Arabs and Israelis: Lessons from Fifty Years of Negotiating Experience" (Washington, 1991). Dr. Stein wrote "The Blood of Abraham: Insights into the Middle East" (Houghton-Mifflin, 1985), in collaboration with Carter. His first book was "The Land Question in Palestine, 1917-1939" (Chapel Hill, 1984).
From 1996 through 1999, Dr. Stein wrote the chapter on the "Arab-Israeli Peace Process" in "Middle East Contemporary Survey" and he is the author of more than two dozen scholarly articles focusing on the origins of modern Israel, Palestinian social history, the Arab-Israeli negotiating process, American foreign policy and other issues.
A highly respected expert, Dr. Stein has written entries on the PLO, the 1948 Israeli Independence War, the 1973 October War and related topics for editions of the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia. He is a frequent commentator for print and electronic media.
Dr. Stein holds a bachelor's degree from Franklin & Marshall College and two master's degrees and his doctorate from The University of Michigan. At Michigan, he trained in medieval Islamic and modern Middle Eastern history and did his doctoral work on Arabs and Jews in the British Mandate in Palestine. He has traveled extensively in both Israel and the Arab world.
Dr. Stein has received several prestigious scholarly grants and five teaching awards, including the Emory Williams Award in 1996. His undergraduate course, "History, Politics and Diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli Conflict," is one of Emory's most popular classes.
After joining Emory's faculty in 1977, Dr. Stein founded and developed the International Studies Center and established the Middle East Research Program and the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel. He was also the first director of the Carter Center. Dr. Stein is the 2002 recipient of Emory's Marion V. Creekmore Award for his 25-year commitment to Emory University and its curriculum.
Dr. Stein's lecture is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested, due to limited seating. For more information, call the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066.
Posted on September 20, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 76
Rossijanochka, an energetic young dance troupe from Russia, will grace the stage at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts as part of the Center's "Artsbound" Schoolday Series. The performances will take place on Monday, Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. As part of this residency there will be workshops with the company scheduled at the Quick Center following the performances. Participants will include a class from Park City Magnet School in Bridgeport and another from Holland Hill School in Fairfield.
Founded more than 50 years ago as a small dance ensemble, the St. Petersburg-based folk dancers have grown into a skilled troupe of more than 100. The seasoned dancers have performed at folk festivals from France and England to Japan, India and Angola, as well as the Olympic Games in Munich, Montreal and Moscow. Since 1985, Alexander Nosikhin, the son of the troupe's founder, has been its artistic director and choreographer, a role that won him the coveted "Honored Art Worker" medal from the Russian government in 1996.
Many of Rossijanochka's dances bring to life the age-old folk stories of the Russian culture and other folk traditions of the world. Courtship is a recurring theme in Russian folk dancing and the dancers, who range in age from 10 to 22, often act out scenes of one-upsmanship, in which the boys try to outdo each other in dramatic feats to win a girl's affections. Known for an athletic quality akin to gymnasts, the dancers weave props such as jump ropes into their exhilarating program.
About 6 10- to 12-year-olds will be joined by 10 14- to 22-year-olds for the Quick Center performance. The dancers change their colorful handmade costumes for each dance and two groups means there will always be action on the stage.
In addition to its dance program, Rossijanochka uses appearances as a springboard for cultural exchange. In an effort to help the audience connect with the 16 dancers, the troupe starts the show with an "up close and personal" video of the dancers going to school, rehearsing and enjoying their native St. Petersburg. A question and answer session will follow the performance.
Tickets are $5 and are available for school groups and individuals. The Quick Center's Outreach programming is sponsored in part by Regina A. Quick, The Educational Foundation of American, The Fairfield Kiwanis Club and the Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation. A comprehensive study guide is available to accompany this residency. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396 or visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.
Posted on September 30, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 51
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Kathy Mattea, who blends bluegrass, gospel, funk, folk and Celtic sounds into her own singular style, will perform Friday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
Shunning the glossy pop and rock influences so prevalent in modern country music, Ms. Mattea is the sure spirit behind the Top 10 country singles "18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses," "Goin' Gone," "Come from the Heart" and many others. Her efforts have won her accolades, including two Grammys and Single of the Year, Song of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year awards from both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.
But Ms. Mattea continues to strive for more than awards, looking for ways to make sense of life and connect to others through her unique rootsy style.
"Folk music was my door into country music, and in some ways, I think I'm still more of a folk artist than a country artist," she told Dirty Linen Magazine. "That really is where it all began for me, sitting around in a circle with my friends and my guitar, playing music, sharing songs back and forth. I could do that for hours. I could do that for days!"
Born in Cross Lanes, W.V., Ms. Mattea was surrounded by the bluegrass and roots country music that would become her passion. A self-described "whiz kid," she was often bored with school, so her mother kept her busy with Girl Scouts, ice skating, community theater and music lessons.
It was music that stuck, opening a new world to Ms. Mattea. She took in her dad's Big Band records, joined her church's folk group, jammed with a friend's bluegrass band, sang show tunes with the theater group and listened in as her brother played albums by James Taylor and Big Brother and the Holding Company.
She learned to play both the piano and the guitar in grammar school and it was in eighth grade that she got her first singing break. Her friend Patty wanted to join the all-county choir, but was afraid to audition alone. They sang together and, while Patty didn't make the cut, Ms. Mattea did. By 10th grade, she was singing solo on a local cable TV show.
Ms. Mattea finished high school and enrolled at West Virginia University at Morgantown. She had planned to major in engineering, physics or chemistry, but fate had other ideas. She started playing in a bluegrass band called Pennsboro and, when one of the members announced he was headed for Nashville, Ms. Mattea decided to join him.
"I thought about me being in school and him being in Nashville writing me all these letters about the great life he was leading," she told Dirty Linen. "I also thought, I was really good at physics and chemistry - I could do it in my sleep - but I didn't want to end up on a shelf somewhere, just some brain in a jar crunching numbers. This was a chance to lead a more interesting life."
Ms. Mattea's first job in Music City was interesting in another way: She was a tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame, an institution that now lists her on the board of directors. Since talking to tourists all day wore out her voice, she soon left to work at an insurance company and later as a waitress at Friday's.
In between shifts, Ms. Mattea made the rounds of publishers and was able to make a living singing jingles and doing studio work. Around the same time, she met her future husband and writing partner Jon Vezner, who came to her aid after her car died on a city street.
In 1983, Ms. Mattea signed with Mercury Records and released her self-titled debut album, following that with the well-received "From My Heart." Both records enjoyed brisk sales, but it was her 1986 album "Walk the Way the Wind Blows" that took her to the next level. Three songs from the album, including Nanci Griffith's "Love at the Five and Dime," rose to the Country Top 10. "Untasted Honey," her 1987 follow-up, offered two number one hits, including "18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses," a trucking song she's made her unlikely signature tune.
Between 1988 and 1993, Ms. Mattea spent much of her time behind a podium making acceptance speeches. Within those five years, she won 11 prestigious awards for her work, including Grammys for Best Country Performance by a Female Artist and Best Southern Gospel, Country Gospel or Bluegrass Gospel Album.
But Ms. Mattea feels all the stress and attention took its physical toll, leaving her with vocal cord problems that eventually required surgery. After recording Lonesome Standard Time in 1992, her voice gave out completely and she was forced to reflect on the nature of the music she really wanted to make. Her next album, the 1993 Christmas recording "Good News," ended up winning the Grammy in the Gospel category.
Her most recent albums are filled with songs that dip into several musical styles. There are the Celtic whistles on "Trust Me," the intense, soulful commitment of "(Love is) My Last Word" and the breezy Gillian Welch love song to a car "455 Rocket." And Ms. Mattea continues to challenge herself, trying her hand at songwriting with Vezner and others and producing some of her work.
"It's always been a real gut level thing for me," she said of her career, "listening to that inner voice and following it."
Her instincts permeate her stage performance, according to Jim Santella, who reviewed her October 5 concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
"It is often said that one can't step into the same river twice," he wrote in the Buffalo News. "If a Kathy Mattea concert has one consistent theme, it is that one must step into the river of life and let it carry you where it will."
Tickets to Ms. Mattea's concert are $30. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396 or visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.
Posted on October 4, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 82
Americans should be wary of Bush administration warnings regarding Iraq in light of a history of political manipulation through sanctions, said Joy Gordon, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy at Fairfield University, after three years of researching the role of the United States in the economic sanctions on Iraq.
A specialist in political philosophy and international law, Dr. Gordon holds a law degree from Boston University School of Law and a doctorate in philosophy from Yale University. A book on her research on economic sanctions is currently under contract with Harvard University Press and an article in the November issue of Harper's magazine will hit newsstands in mid-October.
Dr. Gordon poses the question: "As George Bush now insists that he must have authorization to attack Iraq, claiming an imminent threat of weapons of mass destruction, we should really ask: how much of this sudden urgency is based on credible and accurate claims? And how much is grounded in the Bush Administration's interest - with a foundering economy and elections looming - in electoral posturing?
"My research, much of which is based on confidential documents of the UN Security Council, shows us that we should have serious reservations about the Bush Administration's credibility regarding Iraq's military capacity," Dr. Gordon said.
"Within the Security Council, the U.S. blocked billions of dollars of ordinary humanitarian goods - everything from yogurt-making equipment to child vaccines to ambulance radios - claiming that they were potential 'weapons of mass destruction.' They made these claims even though not a single other member of the Security Council joined them in these 'concerns' - including Britain. They took this position even when the international weapons experts saw no grounds for these claims."
In an article in the November issue of Harper's magazine, Dr. Gordon says that confidential U.N. Security Council documents show that over the last decade the United States consistently blocked Iraq from importing billions of dollars of legal, urgent humanitarian goods, such as water tankers during a period of drought, claiming that they could be used as weapons of mass destruction. The documents also show that U.S. claims about "weapons of mass destruction" were often highly speculative, and were created or withdrawn for political reasons rather than security concerns. According to these documents - including minutes of closed meetings of the Security Council committee charged with overseeing the Iraq sanctions regime:
- The United States unilaterally blocked or impeded goods including ventilators for intensive care units, dental equipment, dialysis equipment, and printing equipment for school textbooks, claiming that they were "military dual use" or "weapons of mass destruction." The United States unilaterally blocked or impeded billions of dollars of equipment for water purification and sewage treatment, despite skyrocketing mortality rates from water-borne diseases.
- The U.S. claims that Iraq was importing materials for weapons of mass destruction were sometimes based on highly speculative justifications that were immediately dropped in the face of public scrutiny. Hundreds of millions of dollars in medicines were blocked on the claim that they could be converted into WMDs, then the blocks were lifted within days in the face of negative press coverage.
- The U.S. claims that Iraq was importing materials that presented security risks were sometimes based on little more than the State Department's political agenda. For example, the United States blocked Chinese contracts for fiber optic cables, claiming these could be used for military purposes; then lifted them immediately, once China voted in accordance with US demands.
To speak with Dr. Gordon, you can call her at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2852. You can also call the Fairfield University Office of Public Relations at (203) 254-4190.
Posted on October 6, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 81
Fairfield University's School of Engineering will present its second Lifetime Achievement Award to Richard J. Grossi on Thursday, Oct. 10 at the University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
"He has been recognized in the community for his drive and leadership qualities," said Evangelos Hadjimichael, Ph.D., dean of the School of Engineering, of the former chairman and chief executive officer of New Haven-based United Illuminating Co. and currently Chairman and President of the Science Park Development Corporation.
The award is given to an outstanding member of the technology and engineering community who has realized a lifetime of achievement in his or her field. The School presented its first Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999 to Eugene Buckley, then-chief executive officer of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
"Dick Grossi has received many accolades and awards during his illustrious career and we are proud to add to that list by awarding him the Fairfield University School of Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award," said Anthony Vallillo, current president and chief operating officer of the United Illuminating Co. and a member of the Advisory Board of the School of Engineering.
"I'm deeply humbled by this recognition and I'm looking forward to the reception," Mr. Grossi said. "Though I haven't practiced engineering for a number of years, the basic discipline of engineering, which involves problem solving, has served me very well as I've progressed in my career."
Mr. Grossi has occupied positions of authority in a number of organizations, Dr. Hadjimichael said. He joined UI in 1957 as an engineering assistant and advanced steadily to positions of ever-increasing responsibility, including New Haven Harbor project manager, vice president of engineering and planning, vice president of corporate planning, executive vice president and chief operating officer. In 1991, Mr. Grossi became chairman and CEO of the utility company. Mr. Grossi is chairman of the New York Independent System Operator Board. He also serves on the board of directors of new Haven Savings Bank and The University of Connecticut Foundation Inc. and was a former chairman of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, the North American Electric Reliability Council and Connecticut Public Broadcasting.
Posted on October 6, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 75
What do undercover agents in Nazi territory, a Beaver Cleaver-like child hero and thousands of hungry rats have in common? They'll all be on hand Saturday, Nov. 23, when Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts presents "High Adventure on the Radio," the first of three radio dramas scheduled for the 2002-03 season. The live drama will be performed at 3 and 8 p.m.
"High Adventure on the Radio" is based on three radio shows that aired nationwide in the first half of the 20th century. The first installment, "The Black Box" from the series "Cloak and Dagger," revolves around harrowing true stories from the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, which later became the Central Intelligence Agency. In this episode, an undercover agent is dropped behind Nazi lines to broadcast German-language propaganda to make invading certain German cities and hamlets easier for the troops.
The second drama is an episode from the beloved "Jack Armstrong, The All-American Boy." The classic children's show aired in 15-minute installments and was one of the first shows to use premiums as a way to get listeners to buy products, said Smith. Little Jack was a fan of Wheaties and listeners mailing in box tops for prizes helped turn General Mills from a small concern into a huge corporation.
In this installment, Jack and his friends Billy, Betty and Captain Fairfield, "a scientist in a cape," journey to South America for some mayhem in Mayan territory. Jack Armstrong plots often lasted months and Smith said modern listeners should get a chuckle out of the meandering storyline and ridiculously unbelievable characters.
"Shows like this make 'Leave It to Beaver' look really sophisticated," Smith said.
The third radio play is from a program called "Escape," which is just what its characters had to do in each episode. The episode that will close the evening involves a hair-raising tale of three men trapped in a lighthouse. A ship filled with ravenous rats crashes on the rocks outside and the rodents turn their attention to the lighthouse and what might dwell inside. As the harrowing adventure goes on the men have to climb higher and higher in the lighthouse to avoid being eaten alive.
The cast for the evening includes: Gary Cavello and John Watson of New Haven; Josiah Rowe of Chesire; Cindy Haynes of Fairfield; Tess Link of Westport; Carmen Rivera of Milford; and Hank Stohl of Stratford. Stratford resident Ted Powell will provide the sound effects and a quartet of woodwinds will play original music that Smith based on the original orchestral score.
The production, complete with vintage commercials, is the first in a series of three radio dramas at the Quick Center.
Tickets are $10. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396 or visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.
Posted on October 11, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 90
The William H. Pitt Foundation has awarded Fairfield University $40,000 for its Community Partnership Scholars Program that helps inner-city, multicultural students attend Fairfield University. Under the terms of the gift, the William H. Pitt Foundation will provide Fairfield with an annual gift of $20,000, providing $5,000 each to four Bridgeport high school students from Bassick, Central, Harding and Kolbe-Cathedral High Schools who qualify to attend Fairfield University.
The Community Partnership Scholars Program was established at Fairfield University in 1999 in response to the rising need for financial aid by qualified undergraduates. The University has made a commitment to annually award full-tuition scholarships and a personal computer to one Community Partnership Scholar from each of the partner high schools in the program.
Managed by the Offices of Admissions and Financial Aid, the program also provides visits by admissions counselors, campus tours and on-going advisement that assists and encourages students at the four Bridgeport schools as well as six other high schools in New York City. When fully implemented in 2004, the program will include partnerships with 18 high schools in economically disadvantaged areas that have a track record of preparing their students for post-secondary academic success.
Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., university president, has made securing funds to meet the financial needs of AHANA students a hallmark of his administration at Fairfield. "We are very grateful to have the support of the William H. Pitt Foundation for this important program," he said. "This kind of selfless generosity can truly bring about life-changing opportunities for inner-city students who work hard academically but don't have the financial means to extend their education beyond high school."
Beginning this year, the Community Partnership Scholars will be asked to complete a service component as part of the program by taking part in the partner school visitation program. In addition, Fairfield's Admission Department will sponsor a sophomore award program to honor community service among academically successful sophomore students in the partner schools.
Noel Appel, director of foundation relations at Fairfield, noted that since 1984, the university has increased by 500 percent the amount it allocates for scholarships and financial aid, not including athletic grants-in-aid. "Nationally, the number of students from low-income backgrounds who are prepared to undertake the rigors of a college education are growing. Their inability to do so holds serious societal implications, which is why this program is so important."
Posted on October 15, 2002
Vol. 35, No. 50