In Brief: Spring 2012

Spectators forever

The Columbia Daily Spectator’s board has announced plans to digitize and publish online the student newspaper’s entire run from 1877 to the present, creating what will be known as the Spectator Archive. The multiyear project will be overseen by the Columbia University Libraries. It is expected to cost about $125,000 and will be paid for by the libraries and with donations from Spec alumni and friends.

The first issues to go online will be those from 1955 to 1992. “This includes the paper’s coverage of some key events in Columbia history, including the protests of 1968 and the implementation of coeducation in 1983,” says Stephen Paul Davis, the director of the Libraries Digital Program. These first issues, he says, should be available electronically by this fall.

Provocative profs

Columbia professors Kara Walker and Kenneth Frampton are among ten new fellows being inducted into the 250-member American Academy of Arts and Letters this spring.

Walker, a silhouette artist best known for creating elegant and sexually charged scenes that depict racial power dynamics in the old South, is a professor of visual arts at Columbia’s School of the Arts.

Frampton, a British-born architecture historian and theorist, developed the concept of “critical regionalism,” which argues that contemporary Western architects have tended to adopt a universal progressive style and should counter this by incorporating local building traditions in their work. He is the Ware Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

Math major wins Marshall

Alex Frouman ’12CC has received a Marshall Scholarship for up to three years of graduate study in the UK. Frouman, a mathematics major who is a member of the University Senate and co-chairs its student-affairs committee, plans to study economics at Oxford.

He hopes to conduct research on economic policy and financial regulation, with a particular focus on how the United States and the United Kingdom can work together to regulate international markets.

CJR names new editor

Cyndi Stivers ’78BC, the former managing editor of Entertainment Weekly’s website and the founding editor of Time Out New York, is now editor in chief of the Columbia Journalism Review.

Stivers, who began her career with a full-time job at the New York Post while an undergraduate at Barnard College, made a name for herself in 1995 by launching Time Out New York, an offshoot of the London listings guide, where she remained for ten years. During Stivers’s three years at Entertainment Weekly, the website doubled its audience.

Stivers is a trustee of Barnard College and an adjunct professor at Columbia’s journalism school.

Firestein and Zajc elected to AAAS

Biologist Stuart Firestein and physicist William Zajc have been elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The Columbia professors were among 539 fellows inducted at the scientific society’s annual meeting in Vancouver in February.

Firestein, who is chair of the biological-sciences department, is known for his pioneering work on the mammalian olfactory system. Zajc, the chair of the physics department, is a leader in relativistic heavy-ion physics, which uses high-energy nuclear collisions to try to understand what happened in the first milliseconds of the universe’s existence.

That’s teaching them

Nine professors were honored for their teaching and mentoring skills in March, when they received the Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award at a celebratory dinner at the Italian Academy. The awards carry a prize of $75,000 paid out over three years; they were made possible by a $12 million donation from Trustee Gerry Lenfest ’58LAW, ’09HON.

This year’s winners are political scientists Fredrick C. Harris and Robert Y. Shapiro, chemist Laura J. Kaufman, art historian and archaeologist Holger A. Klein, history-department chair Mark Mazower, Latin American –literature scholar Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Russian-literature expert Cathy L. Popkin, French-studies scholar Emmanuelle Saada, and psychologist Daphna Shohamy.

Go Ask Alice! gets makeover

In January, the University launched a new version of its health and wellness website, Go Ask Alice! The site, on which Columbia health-promotion specialists provide answers to user-generated questions, has long been praised as a candid and reliable source of information about sexual health, alcohol and drug use, and other issues of particular relevance to young adults.

Now the site’s thousands of archived questions and answers, which are regularly updated to ensure their continued accuracy, are easier to search by topic. The revamped site also offers health-related news alerts, polls and other interactive features, and compatibility with social-media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Northwest wins gold

The Northwest Corner Building has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council for its energy efficiency, water savings, indoor air quality, materials selection, and environmentally friendly construction. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation’s most widely recognized seal of approval for green buildings.