Campus News - Wentworth Institute of Technology

Campus News - Wentworth Institute of Technology


Designing for Life

Latin American Experts Speak

on Urban Design

Laptop Initiative

Wentworth Students and

Faculty Get Their Computers

President Gets Appointed

Governor Honors President

Zorica Pantić

Andre Dubus

Author of House of Sand and

Fog Speaks to Students

Valerie Rosenberg

Documenting Her Struggle With

Cancer and a Bone Marrow


Mission Hill Road Race

Wentworth Wins Puddingstone

Pot Fourth Year in a Row

Service Day

Incoming Freshman Start Off on

the Right Foot

Faculty Profile: Professor

Durga Suresh

“Scene around”

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October 2008

Designing for Life

Latin American Experts Speak on Urban Design

Sergio Fajardo Valderrama, former mayor of Medellin, Columbia

The Wentworth architecture department invited government officials and

design leaders from Venezuela and Columbia to campus to speak about their

achievements in urban redevelopment. The week-long event began on Monday,

September 22, and included a panel discussion, an exhibition, and a photographic

display showcasing examples of redevelopment.

Robert Cowherd and Manuel Delgado, the organizers of the event, opened with

some welcoming remarks and introductions of the panel speakers. Professor

Cowherd spoke about his goals and a desire to translate the successes of Latin

American cities into a blueprint for the successes of our own cities. “Design,”

Cowherd emphasized, “is not a silver bullet solution to helping the underprivileged

communities of the developing world. It is an essential ingredient in reform

however, and it needs to be accompanied by change in public policy.”

The first speaker was Jorge Perez Jaramillo from Columbia’s Regional Planning

department in Medellin. His speech focused on the cooperation and organization

between government officials, city planners, and the people of Medellin. He

urged anyone with an understanding of the political process to get involved with

city designing. “As a result of globalization,” explained Jaramillo, “the world is

demanding a new role for designers.”

The first day concluded with an address from the keynote speaker, Sergio Fejardo

Valderrama, Medellin’s former mayor. A photo exhibit was displayed throughout

the week in Watson Hall and the exhibition was displayed for two weeks in the

Casella Gallery.

Laptop Initiative

Wentworth Students and Faculty Get Their Computers

Students set up their new laptops

President Gets Appointed

Governor Honors President Zorica Pantić

Governor Deval Patrick appointed President

Zorica Pantić as a member of the Massachusetts

Workforce Investment Board for a two year term.

The newly appointed board members (including

Dr. Pantić) were sworn in as part of a September

10 board meeting. Regional members assist in

providing information about local labor markets

and help build stronger ties between business,

labor, and higher education in the area.

“I am extremely honored to be trusted with this

responsibility,” said Dr. Pantić. “I look forward

to contributing to the future success of local

businesses and to building lasting ties between

higher education and employers in the area.”

Dr. Pantić’s role will include overseeing projects

that will promote and further workforce

development. This in turn will help to keep the

region a competitive force in business and labor.

The line stretched from the doors of Tansey

Gym to the Beatty stairs as Wentworth students

patiently waited to receive their new laptops on

Thursday, September 2.

The laptop program started as a pilot in fall

2004 for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in

the architecture department. In fall 2005, the

program was implemented across all majors for

all incoming students. The program provides

Wentworth students and faculty members with

laptops and software customized to their specific

major. For this reason, the Institute supports

two platforms – Mac and PC. Students in

Wentworth’s architecture department, and the

design & facilities department, are provided with

Mac Book Pro laptops. Students in the other

academic programs - applied math and science;

civil, construction and environment; computer

science and systems; electronics and mechanical;

humanities, social sciences, and management

– are provided Lenovo (which purchased IBM

Thinkpad) laptops.

Students keep the laptops for two years and then they are refreshed in their junior year. Once a student

graduates, he/she keeps the laptop that was issued to them during their junior year. This year marks

the first time that all students are outfitted with laptops. The implementation of the laptop program

represents a shift from a centralized model of education, based on computer labs, to a decentralized

mobile computing environment that can be closely integrated with each individual’s work in the studio,

classroom, workshop, library, and many other areas on campus.

President Zorica Pantić is fourth from the left in

the back row. Governor Deval Patrick is seated

in the center of the front row.

Campus News 2

Andre Dubus III

Author of House of Sand and Fog Speaks To Students

Author Andre Dubus III shared his thoughts and offered

insights into the writing process during his book talk held

in Watson Auditorium on Thursday, September 25.

Dubus is the author of House of Sand in Fog, a bestselling

book, and finalist for the 1999 National Book

Award for Fiction. Dubus has written one other novel

and various other published works including essays and

collections of short stories. He now teaches writing at

Tufts University and Emerson College.

Incoming freshman were required to read Dubus’ House

of Sand and Fog this summer, and prepared questions

for his appearance. By the time the talk began at 6 p.m.,

the auditorium was full of students and faculty members

from the department of humanities, social sciences, and


The book talk began with Dubus reading a short excerpt

Dubus signs student’s book

from the book, which was followed by discussions and

a question and answer session from students. Students said they were impressed by Dubus’ frank

answers and down-to-earth demeanor. In turn, Dubus said his favorite part of the visit was hearing from

the students. Dubus also stayed after the talk for a book signing.

Valerie Rosenberg Exhibit

Documenting Her Struggle With Cancer and a Bone Marrow Transplant

In an exhibit entitled ‘Rebuilding Again,’ Valerie

Rosenberg shares her courageous story of

overcoming a battle with cancer and surviving

a bone marrow transplant. As Rosenberg

commenced her exhibit at an opening reception

on October 6, she expressed her pride and

pleasure in being able to share her work with

others. The exhibit was displayed in the Casella

Gallery from October 6-17.

When Elaine A. Slater, Assistant Professor of Art

History in the Department of Humanities, Social

Sciences, and Management, saw her exhibit, she

was so impressed that she knew she needed to

bring it to Wentworth. Rosenberg was honored

and excited to be able to share her work with

the Institute. She plans on applying to graduate

school in expressive therapy within the year.

Valerie Rosenberg poses with one of her sculptures

‘Rebuilding Again’ was first compiled for the one year anniversary of Rosenberg’s bone marrow

transplant to which her brother, a perfect match, was the donor. Creating the artwork gave her a sense

of accomplishment on her road to recovery. Rosenberg explained that putting the show together was

something to live for when she was not sure she wanted to live; she was literally and figuratively putting

back together the pieces of her life.

Rosenberg’s work consists of sketches that were done during her stay at the hospital, as well as small

and large sculptures done in her parents garage during her isolated recovery. The large sculptures are

created using chicken wire and starched paper, making the sizeable structures quite easy to carry. “I

see those large sculptures as an exuberant declaration of ‘being alive,’” explains Slater. “I think that the

elements of the structure mirror the resiliency of the human body and spirit.”

Campus News 3

Mission Hill Road Race

Wentworth Wins Puddingstone Pot Fourth Year in a Row

On September 20, Wentworth participated in the annual Mission Hill Road Race, a 5k road race/walk to

benefit the Kevin W. Fitzgerald Park in Mission Hill.

The Center for Community and Learning Partnerships (CLP) has made a strong effort every year to encourage

students to participate in the event. For the past three years their efforts have resulted in Wentworth

winning the Puddingstone Pot, the award given for most participants. This year, Wentworth was once again

presented with the Puddingstone Pot for an astounding total of 101 runners, walkers, and volunteers.

Included in the final

tally of participants was

President Zorica Pantić,

who briskly walked

along with CLP staff

members Sean Bender,

Doris Rubio, Kerri Foley,

and co-op student John

Sheehan. Members

of the hockey, track,

volleyball, and lacrosse

teams ran the winding

5k through the streets

of Mission Hill. Mayor

Thomas Menino was in

attendance to kick off

the start of the event.

Service Day

President Pantić and Wentworth volunteers proudly display the

Puddingstone pot after the Mission Hill Road Race.

Incoming Freshman Starting Off on the Right Foot

As part of Wentworth’s Opening Week (WOW),

incoming freshmen students participated in

the Sixth Annual Service Day, a community

service activity where students visit different

locations across the Mission Hill and

Fenway neighborhoods, including local high

schools, assisted living facilities, and service

agencies, and perform a variety of tasks to

benefit the local communities. This year,

students contributed approximately 3,500

hours of community service on service day.

Students provided help with landscaping,

classroom preparation, painting, cleaning,

and other activities at areas such as the fire

Students planting flowers around the community

station, the Landmark Assisted Living Facility,

the Lenox/Camden Apartments, New Mission

High School, the Tobin Community Center, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Students

are encouraged to continue contributing service to their community, and are encouraged to get more

involved with the CLP (

CLP Updates 4

Faculty Profile: Professor Durga Suresh

For Professor Durga Suresh, department

of computer science and systems,

teaching is a privilege.

That is saying a lot coming from someone who describes

herself as being born with a silver spoon in her mouth.

Originally from India, Suresh is a self-proclaimed

daddy’s girl. When she came to the U.S. after getting her

undergraduate degree in electronics and communication

engineering, she was in search of a job. She did not expect

to find herself teaching in a small school “somewhere in

a place called Boston.”

Suresh originally planned on a career in engineering,

but after realizing that teaching positions offered more

job security she applied to Wentworth, and is still here

eight years later. Suresh says, “I live and breathe for

the students and I have a wonderful support system in

Wentworth with all the faculty members.”

Suresh teaches for both the day and the evening

schools at Wentworth. Although there are some

differences between the day and evening students,

Professor Durga Suresh

such as background and learning styles, Suresh gains

a lot from teaching both groups. “You understand and you become a better faculty member by

teaching day and evening school because you take that experience and you compare – it is very

satisfying. My job here at Wentworth is very fulfilling.”

Aside from teaching, Suresh’s hobbies are as interesting as they are diverse. From poker to community

building, to watching every New England Patriot’s game, to playing Guitar Hero, to alcohol counseling,

to BMW racing—one wonders how she was able to complete both her master’s degree in computer

science and her master’s degree in teaching and learning.

Although she spends her free time doing many interesting things, teaching and learning are her passions.

In the eight years Suresh has been teaching at Wentworth, she has not gone one semester without

taking classes. Her addiction to learning is caused by her insatiable ego. “I still get A’s and I send my

test back to India and my mom puts it up on the refrigerator,” she joked.

Suresh is high-energy, positive, and often joking, yet she has learned to be serious about things as well.

In 2005 doctors told her she had ovarian cancer. Although the diagnosis was reversed seven days later,

Suresh believes this experience has greatly impacted the way she views life. She felt that it forced her

to grow up and appreciate every opportunity she had.

She uses her knowledge and her job to leave lasting marks on her students. “I try to change 25

students’ lives at a time.” Each year, she tries to be more innovative in her teaching, and experiment

with new things. Recently she took her computer science students on a field trip to the MIT Museum,

which had never been done before.

Although Suresh enjoys teaching no matter what the circumstances, there is a reason she has stayed

at Wentworth for so long. She values the close relationships and interactions she is able to develop with

the students. Small class sizes allow her to connect in a way that she otherwise could not. She also

attributes her hobbies, such as car racing and computer games, to her popularity among the students.

Their appreciation is very fulfilling for her, and she shows it off with great pride. “If you come into my

office, you will see thank you cards all over my walls.”

Faculty Profile 5

Faculty and staff gathered to commemorate

the start of another semester at the Welcome Back

BBQ on August 26. Attendants enjoyed a country

western theme cookout, including country linedancing

lessons and Karaoke.

The American Red Cross came to Wentworth

on October 1 to hold a blood drive. The drive was

sponsored by Peer Educators Advancing Knowledge

(PEAK), a student run wellness group on campus

that tries to inform and encourage students to take

care of themselves and make healthy decisions.

There were a total of 65 donors and 56 units of

blood collected at the drive. Wentworth with be

hosting another blood drive on January 29, 2009.

The 14th Annual President’s Cup

Challenge took place on September 16. The

president enjoyed a day of golfing with Wentworth

alumni and friends at the Pinehills Golf Club in

Plymouth, MA. An award ceremony and dinner

were held in the evening.

Move-In Day at Wentworth ran like a well-oiled

machine thanks to students, faculty, and staff

volunteers on August 27-28. The freshmen drove

into West Lot during designated times, and were

assisted in getting their things from their cars, to

large bins, and finally into their rooms. Move-in

was a smooth-running, highly-organized, handson

Wentworth Welcome” for new students.

Scene around 6

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