Adamant: Hardest metal

Rulings won't alter area colleges' admissions policies

Matthew Daneman and Ben Rand
Democrat and Chronicle

(June 24, 2003) — Local college campuses don’t foresee changing how they do business in light of Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding the role race can play in admissions.
And they doubt the decision would have affected them if it had gone the other way, either.
“It’s not going to impact us at all,” said Adrienne Collier, affirmative action officer at the State University College at Brockport. “In fact it’s pretty clear-cut. The criteria (we) use in admissions doesn’t take race into account.”
None of the area campuses has affirmative-action admissions programs similar to the University of Michigan.
There, being a member of an underrepresented minority group means a number of points on a scale, with students needing a specific number of points to get in.
And it was that approach that the Supreme Court struck down in its decision.
A number of area schools, however, give some weight to an applicant’s race if that person is close to some type of cutoff. And the justices, in a 5-to-4 decision, upheld using affirmative action in such decisions.
“The court appears to have upheld the principle of “narrowly tailored” affirmative action programs, such as those used in the admissions processes at the University of Rochester,” university spokesman Robert Kraus said in a statement.
Rochester Institute of Technology puts its focus on creating a wide pool of students who apply to the university, but is race-blind when selecting from the pool of eligible students, said President Albert Simone.
While RIT won’t be changing its admissions practices because of -- or to take advantage of -- the Supreme Court decision, Simone said he applauded the ruling. “When it comes to affirmative action, I see it as what’s best for America,” he said, pointing to the low numbers of nonwhites attending college, even as they make up an increasing percentage of the total population of the nation.
Some local businesses also applauded the decision.
“We believe it’s essential to our success to be able to hire individuals of all backgrounds who have been educated in a diverse environment, where they are exposed to diverse people, ideas, perspectives and interactions,” said Xerox Corp. spokeswoman Kara Choquette.
Xerox and Eastman Kodak Co., two of Monroe County’s largest employers, joined 63 other companies in urging the high court to ratify racial and ethnic diversity as a key criterion in university admissions.
The companies filed a “friend of the court” brief in February arguing that employees -- in order to be successful -- must know how to interact with diverse people, cultures and ideas.
Poll after poll has shown that Americans are strongly divided on affirmative action. And local college students are no different, especially when it comes to the matter of what role race should play in deciding who gets into school.
While nonwhite people often don’t have the financial and educational advantages that white people do, college admissions still should be based on educational merit, said Maryrose Mason, 23, of Batavia and a graduate student in RIT’s communications department.
“People are so much more complex than numbers and statistics,” she said. But, she added, “it’s a tricky question. I understand sometimes you went to an (underperforming) high school and that wasn’t your fault.”
RIT industrial design major Luz Zambrano, 21, said that while she backed the notion of having a more diverse campus, she also felt sympathy for white students who might lose out when diversity becomes an emphasis.
In her native Venezuela, she said, “everything is by your grades. Nobody cares where you’re from. I hope I was accepted because of my grades.”
But RIT international business and marketing student Denishea Flanigan, 20, of Cincinnati, said that since diversity is increasingly a corporate goal, it also should be a goal for colleges -- at least if those schools want their students to be marketable to employers.

Professor leaving journalism for priesthood

The Auburn Plainsman, By Rob Huffman, Staff Writer
June 19, 2003

Michael Glenn Rich, 41, one of Auburn University's assistant professors in journalism, is preparing for retirement.

But then again, maybe he's not retiring at all.

"Retiring means you're not working anymore," Rich said.

It's true, Rich will in no way quit working. He is simply going to start work on a new job.

He is about to begin preparation to become a priest.

"I'm going to go to seminary, where I'll study for three years," Rich said. "After that, the intention is to lead to ordination at the Priesthood Episcopal Church."

Rich will be going to the General Theological Seminary in New York City after he moves from Auburn in August.

Rich graduated from Northwestern University in 1984 with a degree in journalism and earned his master's degree there in 1985.

He came to Auburn in the fall of 1999.

Previously he had taught two academic years at Auburn in 1990 and 1991 as a visiting professor.

"I've taught more than five years here, but not all at one stretch," he said.

Rich has also worked as a teaching assistant at the University of Iowa for one year.

Between Rich's teaching stints at Auburn, he also went to graduate school at the University of Iowa

"I also spent a lot of time working at The Huntsville Times, where I was feature editor and a few other things," Rich said.

In addition to The Huntsville Times, Rich has also worked for a number of other papers, including The Birmingham News and The Macon (Ga.) News.

Rich held many positions at the various papers he worked for, from copy editor to editorial page writer to international editor at The Daily Journal in Caracas, Venezuela.

While at Auburn, Rich has taught newspaper fundamentals, journalism history, feature writing, reporting, editing, beginning newswriting and a graduate course on international mass communication.

Casey Carpenter, a senior in public relations had Rich as her newspaper fundamentals instructor a few semesters ago.

"He was very enthusiastic," Carpenter said. "He was one of my better teachers and was always approachable."

Carpenter also added that Rich was knowledgeable about journalism in general.

Rich commented that one of the main things he will miss about Auburn is the people who have been a part of his life.

"People I've worked with, students that I know -- working with these people is by far the most rewarding thing about teaching at Auburn," Rich said.

"I have enjoyed the collegial setting of working with the people in this department."

Rich said journalism has been a large part of his life to this point, but he feels he is making the right decision by leaving.

"I've enjoyed what I've been doing, and it has been the right thing for me, and I love it, and I'm not leaving it because I dislike it," Rich said.

Nan Fairley, a member of the journalism faculty and one of Rich's closest friends, said she is saddened by Rich's upcoming departure.

"It's hard to comment about him -- I would need a long time," Fairley said. "He's been like a brother in the four years that I have known him."

Fairley believes that Rich's time at Auburn has been a success, but now he's ready to move on.

"Ministry is his calling," she said. "He'll be going from the podium to the pulpit."

Despite having to leave behind friends and loved ones, Rich is steadfast in his decision to become a priest.

"I've literally been in the process of -- that is, dealing with the church, working towards this -- for more than three years," Rich said.

Rich's commitment to becoming a priest is solid and real.

While in Auburn, Rich has been the faculty adviser at the Society of Professional Journalists, the faculty adviser and worship coordinator at St. Dunstan's Episcopal Student Center, and was volunteer at the Hospice of East Alabama Medical Center.

Rich touched many students' lives at Auburn, but his future in the priesthood looks to touch even more.

Alumna Gil-Garcia receives two Fulbright grants

VMU News, June 19, 2003

CHICAGO -- Dr. Ana Gil-Garcia, an associate professor at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago who received her doctoral degree from Western Michigan University, was recently notified that she will receive two Fulbright grants through 2008.

Gil-Garcia has been named to the Fulbright Senior Specialist Roster, as well as receiving a Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant. The senior specialist roster is a list of approved candidates available for short-term positions of typically two to six weeks. Gil-Garcia's name will remain on the list until 2008. She will use the Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant to return to her native Venezuela for 10 months beginning January 2004, where she will conduct research and teach at Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas.

"Western Michigan University provided me with one of the most solid and analytical educations I have ever received in my long academic years," says Gil-Garcia. "The educational environment I lived at Sangren Hall, the strong knowledge base offered by a well-recognized body of faculty experts, and the critical skills I expanded through the dynamic of interaction with others are some of the elements that have contributed to my successes in life."

Gil-Garcia originally came to the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship in 1987, while she was still a Venezuelan citizen. She earned a doctoral degree in educational leadership from WMU in 1991, receiving a WMU Research Award for her dissertation. Gil-Garcia, whose name at that time was Ana Gil Serafin, was a WMU Visiting Scholar and member of the educational leadership faculty in 1992-93.

For the past seven years, Gil-Garcia has been at Northeastern Illinois University, where she teaches graduate courses in the areas of educational leadership, research in education, school supervision, cultural pluralism, and curriculum development. She has been involved in education for 29 years. Most of Gil-Garcia's academic and administrative careers have been in Caracas.

In addition to a doctorate from WMU, Gil-Garcia holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from University of Tennessee, a specialist degree in middle school curriculum conferred by the Organization of American States, and a bachelor's degree from the Pedagogical University of Venezuela. She has additional training in the areas of reading and teaching strategies, multicultural education, brain-based learning, and teaching in multi-language and culturally diverse classroom settings.

Gil-Garcia has published two books and many articles in international and national journals and has delivered numerous papers nationally and internationally, including invited presentations in Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, France, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Peru, Hungary, Italy and Venezuela. She has been cited in several dissertations and books. The recipient of numerous merit awards, she considers her greatest honor to have been recognized as a Teacher of the Year in Venezuela for her 20 years of consecutive teaching services at all levels.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400,

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400

Violence in the Americas: Alarming but Preventable

Washington, DC, June 11, 2003 (PAHO)—Participants in a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) meeting today presented alarming statistics on the impact of violence in the Americas: 120,000 people are victims of homicide each year in the Region, and 180,000 more die from suicide and traffic accidents. In countries for which data are available, 20–60 percent of women have been victims of intrafamilial violence. Among the fastest growing sources of violence are youth gangs; in El Salvador and Honduras alone, some 30,000 youths are gang members.

Dr. Alberto Concha-Eastman (left), Dr. Etienne Krug, and Dr. Marijke Velzeboer-Salcedo (clik on the photo to enlarge). [©Armando Waak/PAHO]During the conference, "Alliances for the Prevention of Violence," two recent books on these issues were presented: the World Health Organization's World Report on Violence and Health (published in October 2002) and the new PAHO publication Violence Against Women: The Health Sector Responds.

Experts emphasized that violence is preventable and that rates can be reduced through political decision-making along with measures that strengthen surveillance systems and campaigns that focus on the concrete problems faced by individual countries.

"We know the statistics on deaths by violence, but we lack data on violence that is not fatal," said Dr. Etienne Krug, head of WHO’s Injuries and Violence Prevention Department. Krug presented the World Report on Violence and Health and noted that it was the product of three years' work by 160 experts from 70 countries. It is the first report to describe in detail the global toll of violence.

Dr. Alberto Concha-Eastman, PAHO regional advisor on violence and injury prevention, presented data on homicides in the Americas. The highest annual rates are found in Colombia, with 65 homicides per 100,000 people; Honduras, with 55 per 100,000; El Salvador, with 45; Jamaica, with 44; and Venezuela, with 35 per 100,000. The lowest rates are found in Canada, which reports only 2 homicides per 100,000 people; Costa Rica, with 4 per 100,000; and in the United States, with 6.5 per 100,000.

"One high-risk social problem is youth gangs," said Concha-Eastman. "Of the thousands of kids who belong to these gangs, especially in Jamaica, Costa Rica, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua, El Salvador, the United States and Brazil, 55 percent are under 15 and only 25 percent have completed elementary school." He added that many of these youths become adults involved in organized crime.

Other participants presented successful experiences with violence prevention. Dr. Rodrigo Guerrero, of the Inter-America Coalition for Violence Prevention and former mayor of Cali, Colombia, described successful initiatives in that city and in the capital of Bogotá. "In the early 1990s, the increase in violence was alarming. For this reason, we decided to map out the violence, and we found that most homicides occurred on weekends and that 40 percent of the victims were intoxicated. Seeing that alcohol was a risk factor, we decided to restrict consumption."

This measure, combined with restrictions on discotheques’ hours, helped lower crime rates from 80 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 1992 to 28 per 100,000 in 2000. Guerrero explained that political awareness of the problem had been critical to addressing it, along with an approach that was not only penal but also cultural. "It was important that people understood that life was sacred and that you have to respect it," he said.

Dr. Marijke Velzeboer-Salcedo, head of PAHO’s Gender and Health Unit, presented the new PAHO book Violence Against Women: The Health Sector Responds, noting that it was the result of 10 years of work in 10 countries, involving more than 150 communities. "Gender violence is one of the most common forms of abuse and it is devastating. And in many cases, women are victims of their own partners," she said.

Researchers found that most women did not know their rights and that they encountered obstacles and misunderstanding when they approached the health system. For this reason, Velzeboer-Salcedo said it is important to work with health professionals and train them to detect cases of violence and begin to break the cycle of violence, "a cycle that causes physical and mental problems and even murder and suicide."

Dr. David Brandling-Bennett, deputy director of PAHO, noted that the Organization has been focusing on the problem of violence since 1993, when its Directing Council— which consists of the ministries of health of the Americas—defined violence as a public health problem and encouraged governments to develop national plans to prevent it.

PAHO was established in 1902 and is the world’s oldest ongoing health organization. PAHO works with all the countries of the Americas to improve health and improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. It serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization.


Las Autoridades de la Universidad Metropolitana tienen el agrado de invitar al público en general al Seminario: CAPITAL SOCIAL ÉTICA Y DESARROLLO: Los desafíos de la Gobernabilidad Democrática

FECHA: Miércoles 25 y Jueves 26 de Junio de 2003.
LUGAR: UNIVERSIDAD METROPOLITANA, Auditorio Thomas Alva Edison. Caracas - Venezuela.




Lo invitamos a leer el artículo del Dr. José Ignacio Moreno León, donde hace referencia a este importante tema, en la dirección electrónica:

Asimismo, lo invitamos al seminario CAPITAL SOCIAL: CAPACIDAD EMPRENDEDORA Y MIPYME'S, el viernes 27 de junio.
Más información en la dirección:









  • Oficina de Planificación del Sector Universitario, República Bolivariana de Venezuela. (OPSU).
  • Universidad Central de Venezuela.(UCV)
  • Universidad Católica Andrés Bello.(UCAB)
  • Universidad del Zulia.(LUZ)
  • Universidad Simón Bolívar.(USB)
  • Universidad Nacional Experimental de Guayana.(UNEG).
  • Michigan State University.
  • Real Embajada de Noruega.
  • Embajada de Brasil.
  • Sinergia.
  • Banco de Venezuela.
  • Procter & Gamble.
  • Conciencia Activa. Coperativa Quebrada Azul.
  • Fe y Alegría.
  • Fundación Polar.
  • Proactiva.
  • Statoil.

Conozca algunas de las ponencias que serán ofrecidas en el seminario, en la siguiente dirección:

Si tiene alguna idea para tratar en los talleres sobre los temas a ser expuestos por los invitados, envíelos al correo electrónico:


Para mayor información.
Universidad Metropolitana:
Tel: 241.48.33 / 243.33.42
Atención: Dra. Cecilia Vicentini: ext.:530
Tel: 241.51.74 Ext: 216 - 320 - 453
Lic. Gladys Vázquez. Ext.: 388

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