26 September 2002

Dr. Villani described the research of the past decade regarding the impact of the media on shaping values, attitudes, and behaviors of children and adolescents. Her presentation covered all forms of media: movies, television, and music videos, rock music, video and computer games. She also discussed the growing concerns about the impact of American exported media on the global community.

Susan Villani is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who currently works as Medical Director of School Programs at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, a premier organization that studies disorders of the brain in children, located in Baltimore, MD. She is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and active in national professional organizations. She has lectured internationally for the Soros Foundation and the World Health Organization. As a working professional and mother of two teenagers, she combines professional knowledge with practical experience to present information that is highly relevant to everyday life.


9 October 2002

Eleven major bridges united the islands that make up New York City and connect the great metropolis to the rest of the nation. One engineer is responsible for more than half of them, yet hardly anyone knows his name. “Bridging New York,” which premiered on PBS in July of 2002 as part of the series “Great Projects: The Building of America,” tells of Othmar Ammann, who came to America as a graduate of Swiss engineering schools and became the twentieth century’s greatest bridge engineer. His is a dramatic story of vision, persistence, and leadership that provides an unusual take on New York City’s history in the last century.

Daniel B. Polin, who founded Great Projects Film Company in 1988, has been producing documentary films for two decades, primarily for public television. His PBS projects in 2002 included “Media Matter,” “Resistance: Untold Stories of Jewish Partisans,” the four-part “Great Projects: The Building of America,” and “America Rebuilds: A Year at Ground Zero.” His films have won an Emmy and been nominated for an Academy Award. Polin graduated from Johns Hopkins University and now lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side with his wife and three children.


17 October 2002

Dr. Cantor addressed the issues faced by children in New York City after 9/11. She discussed the findings of her study, which focuses on the impact of the 9/11 tragedy on children. She also highlighted the implications of the first anniversary of the event.

Pamela Cantor is the Founder and President of Children’s Mental Health Alliance. The Children’s Mental Health Alliance (CMHA), founded in 1994, is a not-for-profit organization that strives to directly affect the mental and general well-being of children and their families in the United States and abroad. Dr. Cantor’s professional activities reflect a long-standing interest in the public health response to issues of children’s mental health.  More recently, Dr. Cantor and the staff of CMHA have led the Partnership for Recovery in New York City schools, a collaborative effort formed with the New York City Board of Education. Dr. Cantor is also the co-director of the Eastern European Child Abuse and Child Mental Health Project. Working with child psychiatrists and psychologists, pediatricians, and educators throughout the world, the Eastern European Child Abuse and Child Health Project has established non-governmental organizations in 12 countries in Eastern Europe that are currently functioning as resources for technical assistance in those developing democracies.  Dr. Cantor’s interest in community mental health also led to the formation of the New York City Community Partnership, another program of the Children’s Mental Health Alliance, which supports small, hands-on, community-based organizations that provide direct services for high-risk children and their families in the South Bronx.


13 November 2002

Every year thousands of children come to the United States alone seeking asylum. Fleeing war, torture, and abuse in their homelands, they arrive here only to be held by the INS in detention centers, juvenile jails, and, sometimes, adult prisons. Through the dramatic stories of the children themselves, "Childhood Interrupted" captures the experiences of the youngest and most vulnerable people seeking solace on America's shores.

"Childhood Interrupted" was produced by Jennifer Ho, Erin Moriarty, and Mariana Van Zeller while they were students at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Before coming to Columbia, Jenny worked in documentary films for five years in the United States and Central America. Erin worked as a print journalist for three years in the United States and Asia. Mariana worked as a broadcast journalist for three years in Europe.


21 November 2002

International health is what the First World calls its efforts to help the Third World to lower mortality and improve health. Mortality is lower but health has improved only where societies have moved from third- to second-world status. So let’s ask: WHY—the major multinational health campaigns of the past half-century largely failed, using Nigeria and Ethiopia as examples. WHAT—has worked and why: e.g. Kerala, Ding Xian, Peru, and Jamkhed. HOW—we can and must apply what we have (or should have) learned NOW!!

Nicholas Cunningham is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Clinical Public Health at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He graduated from the Thacher School, Ojai, CA, and from Harvard College (1950) and went on to receive an M.D. (1955) at Johns Hopkins University, his Diploma in Tropical Health (1965) from the University of London, and his Doctor of Public Health (1977) from Johns Hopkins.  The Peace Corps took him (as the first volunteer MD) to Togo, West Africa, early in his career. Since then he has had extensive experience in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Burundi, and, for the past 10 years, Ethiopia. In 1980, he co-founded the Presbyterian Hospital Therapeutic Nursery, later becoming its director. For this, in 1993, he was given a United Nations Environmental Programme Award.  More recently, Dr. Cunningham has been associated with an interdisciplinary team working with the Open Society Institute to help new countries of Eastern Europe develop services to protect children. In November 1988, he returned from a mission to Baghdad to assess the effects of economic sanctions on women and children in Iraq.


6 February 2003

Mr. Levy discussed why the problems confronting urban public education are not intractable. He discussed the “Leave No Child Behind Act” and what political measures are needed to improve the schools.

Harold O. Levy was the New York City Schools Chancellor, a post he had held for approximately three years until 2002. Prior to becoming Chancellor he had served as Citigroup’s Director of Global Compliance, where he was responsible for coordinating the work of 1500 compliance professionals at Citibank, Salomon Smith Barney, Travelers Insurance and CitiFinancial. He had previously served as a member of the New York State Board of Regents and as Chairman of the New York City Commission of School Facilities. He has a BS and JD from Cornell University and an MA from Oxford. He also has honorary doctorates from Bard, Baruch and St. Francis colleges.


26 February 2003

*This presentation included a screening of a documentary on the CCPF

How do non-profit organizations come to life? How is one person’s vision transformed into an organization with ties to the American and Chinese medical communities, reliant on numerous corporate and individual sponsorships?  The panel presented the story of how this organization was born, and how it continues to expand. CCPF is planning to return to Harbin for a fifth mission in spring 2003, running two operating rooms and performing surgery on over 100 children.  The Children of China Pediatrics Foundation (CCPF) was founded four years ago to provide direct medical treatment for disabled children in China’s orphanages. Each year, teams of American pediatric surgeons go to China to perform surgeries on orphans to correct disfiguring birth defects and disabilities. Over 180 operations have been performed by volunteer doctors, nurses, and medical technicians, with the use of donated medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and means of transportation.

Currently Associate General Counsel and Vice-President for Goldman, Sachs & Co., Regina Palumbo graduated from Columbia University School of Law where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Gina Palumbo has two young daughters, one of whom she adopted in China, and who inspired her to create and develop the CCPF.

David Roye is the Director of Pediatric Orthopaedics at the New York Children’s Hospital and the Livingston Professor of Pediatric Orthopaedics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. A native of Oklahoma, his BA is from the University of Oklahoma. He attended Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he graduated with an MD in 1975. His subsequent training included a surgical internship at the Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and a Pediatric Orthopedic fellowship at the University of Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. He has been at Columbia and at Babies and children Hospital since 1980. Dr. Roye has had special interest in the treatment of scoliosis and correction of spinal deformity in children, and his published research included articles on scoliosis, clubfeet, hip disease, and pediatric quality of life measures.  Dr. Roye has a long-standing interest in providing medical services and teaching in developing countries. He has participated annually in overseas medical delivery since 1987 and has taught and operated in Kenya, Romania, and China. Experience treating orphans in Romania led the Royes to adopt a little girl, age 2, from a Romanian orphanage. At age nine, Elena is a loving addition to the household.  Dr. Roye’s wife, Dr. Carol Roye, is a pediatric nurse practitioner who has a dual appointment in the School of Nursing and the School of Public Health at City University of New York Hunter College. They have six children and three grandchildren (with two more on the way; Elena became an aunt at age four!). Helping his wife with the busy household has been Dr. Roye’s primary avocation; however, he has found time to become an avid cyclist. He frequently travels to meetings and visiting professorships with a bicycle in tow. He says it is the best way to see a new place. David Roye believes it is the duty of this rich and diverse country to provide our world neighbors with the resources, skills, and education to care for their children. The mission of CCPF, providing care to those least likely to receive care is a compelling one, and has led Dr. Roye to commit more of his time and resources to that mission.

Howard Zucker is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health of the United States. He received his B.S. from McGill University and while in college worked with NASA astronauts at MIT designing Space Shuttle zero-G experiments. He received his M.D. from George Washington University School of Medicine at 22 becoming one of America’s youngest doctors. Zucker trained in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital, anesthesiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, pediatric critical care medicine and pediatric anesthesiology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, pediatric cardiology at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School and served on the Yale faculty. Zucker was Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics & Anesthesiology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons prior to government service. He directed Columbia’s Pediatric ICU and supervised design of its award-winning critical care complex.   He holds a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and a LL.M. from Columbia Law School as a James Kent Scholar. Zucker won a White House Fellowship in 2001-02 and worked for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson. Honors include ABC News’ Person of the Week, Columbia pediatrics Teacher of the Year, and is listed in “Best Doctors in America” and “Who’s Who in the World.” He was on the Little Hearts Foundation board, founded the Terre Verte Foundation, mentored at-risk children for the Gorilla Press Project, traveled to China to help orphans, and consulted for the American Museum of Natural History’ Genomic Revolution exhibit. He enjoys writing and illustrating children’s books and is presently working on a medical documentary. Zucker’s work in government has involved a variety of issues, among which are biotechnology, preventive health initiatives, the medical reserve corps, global health issues, and bioterrorism.


3 March 2003

Through Salman Rushdie’s masterpiece, Midnight’s Children, Professor Robbins explored the responsibilities of the writer as witness, responsibilities which are more complicated and difficult than they seem. How does the writer’s role relate to our own responsibilities as spectators of – and participants in – the global and local histories we see on the media and in real life, too? Midnight’s Children will serve as a vehicle to explore these questions of remembrance, creation, and experience.

Bruce Robbins was born in Brooklyn, educated at Harvard, with a Ph.D. dissertation on servants in the novel. He taught for 8 years in Switzerland at the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne, then came back to the US and worked from 1984 to 2001 at Rutgers. He is currently Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia. He has written books on professionalism and on cosmopolitanism, and on the public sphere. His work on the ethical and moral obligations of intellectuals places him among the forefront of academics whose scholarly works strive to shape public discourse. As he writes in Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress (NYU Press, 1999), the most “pertinent questions are […] what you live for, how you live, what you eat, whose children you take care of, who takes care of yours—all the ways in which the personal, as Cynthia Enloe has put it, is international.” His wife works at the UN and he has 2 children—one, a graduate of Columbia College and a John Jay Scholar.


6 March 2003

The Western World emerged from the turmoil of the last century in a state of unprecedented wealth, comfort and security. Unfortunately the transition was not worldwide; two billion people still lack the most basic amenities in life like clean water and access to electricity. The developed nations have a responsibility to assure that sustainable development succeeds. A complication in this effort is that the West has built its wealth on technologies that are unsustainable if applied on a global scale. This could pit developed and developing countries against each other in a competition for energy and resources. To avoid such confrontation, the technologically advanced nations must take action by developing and sharing new technologies that permit a decent standard of living together with a sustainable way of life.

Klaus Lackner came to Columbia University in 2001, as the Ewing-Worzel Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering. After receiving his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Heidelberg in 1978, he held postdoctoral positions at the California Institute of Technology and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center before joining Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1983 as a member of the Theoretical Division. In recent years he also served as the Acting Associate Laboratory Director for Strategic and Supporting Research, representing roughly a third of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Klaus Lackner’s scientific career started in the phenomenology of weakly interacting particles. He studied the chemical interactions of fractionally charged particles with ordinary matter. In Los Alamos National Laboratory, he became involved in hydrodynamic and fusion related research and later in automation and energy related issues. Presently he is working on innovative approaches to energy issues of the future, developing environmentally acceptable technologies for the use of fossil fuels.


26 March 2003

Joan Helpern conducted an informal talk on how she became who she is: the motivating forces that inspired her and the innate urge she feels to share her vision with others—her road from social psychologist to businesswoman to philanthropist.

An international fashion leader and entrepreneur known as “the Joan of Joan and David,” Joan Helpern—even as an undergraduate—saw no reason to choose between her many interests. She majored in Psychology, Economics and English at Hunter, received her Master’s at Columbia in Social Psychology and Economics, and completed all but the thesis in the doctoral program at Harvard in an interdisciplinary field of business and education. Before entering and changing the fashion world, she created and supervised major new nationwide programs in the fields of psychology and child development within the public schools and universities.  Founder and CEO of Joan and David for over thirty years, she wore many hats. For the first fifteen, it was she who designed all products, all advertising campaigns, established the image and direction of the company, and directed merchandising of over 200 stores and boutiques worldwide, bypassing mass marketing and focusing on lifestyle, climate, and using creative, non-traditional methods of problem-solving and management with a focus on inclusion. Joan and David as a company was, from its inception, widely recognized for its innovative working conditions, methodology, and commitment of its staff to the community.

Joan serves on the Women’s leadership Board of Harvard’s Kennedy School f Management, and is a founding member of the committee of 200, an organization of leading businesswomen that leverages the success, power, and influence of women in the global economy. Besides the Business Council for Peace, Joan is involved in Women Waging Peace, the Council of Women Leaders, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and the Women’s Campaign Fund. She is known for her knowledge of and lifetime involvement in human rights and equal opportunities issues.  Since 2002 Joan Helpern has been Adjunct Professor and Executive in Residence at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Joan finds inspiration in her grandmother, a poet, who started a fashion and insurance business in the 1800s. Her true mentor, however, although she died when she was 15, was her mother because she was never satisfied with limited possibilities.

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