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October 24, 2002 At A Glance



This column welcomes the submissions of all Concordia faculty and staff to promote and encourage individual and group activities in teaching and research, and to encourage work-related achievements

Congratulations to Research Professor M.N.S. Swamy (Electrical/Computer Engineering), who has been elected president of the Circuits and Systems Society of IEEE. This is a three-year mandate (president-elect for 2003, president for 2004 and past-president for 2005). M. Omair Ahmad, chair of the ECE Department, said, “This is the first time a Canadian has been elected to this position, and it is a great honour for this department, faculty and university.”

Baljit Singh Chadha, a representative for the community at large on Concordia’s board of governors, was recently appointed to the Security Intelligence Review Committee by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, and sworn into the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada. Mr. Chadha is president of Balcorp Ltd., a trading house in agrifood products, processed foods, forestry products and minerals with offices in Montreal, Mumbai and New Delhi.

The March 21 issue of Science magazine features a commentary called “Gambling on Dopamine,” by Peter Shizgal and Andreas Arvanitogiannis, researchers in the Centre for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology (Psychology). The article is based on a study by Fiorillo, Tobler, and Schultz (“Discrete coding of reward probability and uncertainty by dopamine neurons”), which appears in the same issue.

Arshad Ahmad
(Finance/3M teaching awards) moderated a president’s panel at Brock University on Feb. 21 on Assessing the Challenges of Growing Enrolments. On May 4-6, 3M Teaching Fellows will hold a think-tank session in Toronto, which Ahmad will chair (http://www.mcmaster.ca/learning/3M/index.htm). This will be followed by the Nexus Conference at the University of Toronto, at which Ahmad will conduct a workshop on large classes, among other things. He will also give the keynote presentation at a teaching research symposium at the University of Saskatchewan.

Peter Stoett (Political Science) presented two research papers recently. The first, on “Geopolitics, Renewable Energy vs. Fossil Fuels, and Post-Sept. 11 Security Concerns,” was presented at the Annual Political Science Students’ Invited Speakers Conference at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. The second, “Of Whales and People: Normative Theory, Symbolism, and the International Whaling Commission,” was presented to the International Studies Association in Portland, Oregon. During spring break, he participated in a workshop on Responding to American Unilateralism at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, which included sessions with the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Andrew Homzy (Music) recently returned from Italy, where he conducted a three-hour performance of Epitaph, a musical epic by the late jazz musician Charles Mingus. The performers were about 30 of Rome’s best jazz musicians, an ensemble roughly twice the size of a conventional jazz band. They rehearsed in Rome, and then travelled to the town of Prato, near Florence, to give the concert.

Leslie Orr, chair of the Department of Religion, presented a paper at a symposium that took place March 8 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. The topic of the symposium was The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes from South India. Dr. Orr’s paper was entitled “Patronage and Procession: The Bronzes in Their Medieval Context.”

Congratulations to three Concordia students who were recognized by the Hellenic Scholarships Foundation last month. They were among nine students so honoured at the McGill Faculty Club. They are Elias Kastrinos, a master’s student in mechanical engineering, Eleni Panagiotarakou, a doctoral student in social and environmental studies, and Gerasimoula Cotrocois, a third-year student in early childhood studies. Associate Professor Efie Gavaki (Sociology and Anthropology) is the president of the Foundation.

Nghi M. Nguyen (Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering) has accepted an invitation to share his space perspective on the commercial utilization of the International Space Station (ISS) project, engineering’s most challenging and co-operative venture in science and technology to date, at the Project Management Institute’s Inaugural Global Congress to be held in The Hague in May. His paper is titled “Cases Impairing Effective Management of ISS Commercial Utilization.” He has been working as project management consultant at the Canadian Space Agency on projects associated with the ISS since 1997.

Congratulations to Lorna Roth (Communication Studies), who has been named one of the finalists in the education category of the Montreal Women’s Y Foundation 10th annual Women of Distinction Awards.

Norma Joseph (Religion) presented a paper on Jan. 29 entitled “Food, Gender and Jewish Identity” at the Women of Vision Luncheon organized by the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, South Florida Region. On Feb. 10, she presented a paper entitled “Reading Responsa with a Feminist Lens” as part of the Transformations lecture series organized by the Adult Learning Collaborative in Boston.